Lightning rods, GOP rock stars — Chris Christie and Scott Walker share some of the same labels on the national political scene.
On Tuesday, they shared a stage in Oak Creek, as the New Jersey governor rallied a partisan crowd to support Walker in the June 5 recall election.
Christie said New Jersey faced some of the same challenges as Wisconsin when he took office. Like Walker, he followed a Democratic administration and was forced to take on a massive deficit with a population already overtaxed, he said.
He fixed those problems, and now New Jersey residents and businesses are reaping the benefits, Christie said. Taxes for businesses were already cut and income taxes will be cut later this year.
"What I want to do is give Scott and you in Wisconsin a little preview of what good conservative governance can do for a state," Christie said to roars from a crowd of about 200.
Walker and Christie, along with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who is also facing a recall, appeared at family-owned KEI landscaping company, 824 E. Rawson Ave.
Walker said it was 20 years to the day that he and his wife, Tonette, went on their first date. He talked about the role his family has played since he became governor, saying it's where he draws his strength in the face of protests over his policies.
"What we did this last year wasn't about politics," Walker said. "People ask me all the time, where'd this all come from? I'll give you two simple places -- one's called Matthew, the other's callled Alexander. Those are my two boys.
"We make the tough choices in our life, not just in politics but in all that we do, and we do it for our kids. We do it for our grandkids."
Christie, noting the Stand With Walker campaign signs, said it's actually the other way around -- "Scott Walker stands with you."
He said the eyes of the nation will be on Wisconsin June 5.
"New Jersey and Wisconsin, two states that in many ways couldn't be (more) different, but in many other ways share so many of the same problems," Christie said. "And now are benefitting from the common-sense solutions that are being put forward by two guys who care more about making the lives of all of our friends and neighbors better than they care about preserving their own political careers.
"I cannot wait to be sitting in my living room on Tuesday, June 5, and watch Wisconsin make America proud again."
Ahead of the appearance, the state Democratic Party released a statement criticizing the two governors for policies it said has hurt the middle class.
"Chris Christie and Scott Walker have been leaders, each in their own way, in shrinking the middle class, rolling back the freedoms their states have enjoyed and salting the earth for the working families they were put into office to serve," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. "In the radical, divisive and publicity-seeking way that each has gone about their business, each must find quite a bit to admire in the other."