MILWAUKEE -- Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is tying the recent spate of police killings to President Barack Obama, calling him a "divider-in-chief."
In an op-ed posted Wednesday on the conservative site Hot Air, Walker notes recent fatal police shootings in Texas and Illinois and partially blames the president:
Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was shot and killed "execution-style" on August 28 while he fueled his patrol car in the Houston area. Walker referred to the shooting as "outrageous" during a campaign stop this week in Texas.
Four days later, in Fox Lake, Illinois, 52-year-old Lt. Joe Gliniewicz was shot and killed. Gliniewicz was on his way to work Tuesday in his police car when he saw three suspicious people, police officials have said.
Walker was the second Republican presidential candidate to say President Obama is responsible for the anti-police sentiments. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz previously made similar comments.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke shared his views while guest-hosting the Sean Hannity radio show Thursday.
"This backlash against police is bothering the American people," Clarke said. "The Republicans are not the ones creating the racial tension that exists in America today. The president of the United States and the Democratic Party are doing that."
Walker was asked late Wednesday on Fox News about his comments.
"This is yet another example where the president of the United States needs to put politics aside and stand up and do the right thing. Lead in this country! That`s what leaders do," Walker said. "Now more than ever, America is crying out for leadership from their president to stand up and call out what`s going on here."
Senator Tammy Baldwin was in Milwaukee on Thursday. She countered by telling reporters that the country has struggled with racial issues for a longer period of time than Obama has been president.
"I just believe each generation needs to leave to the next an America that is more equal, more just than the last, and that we have to look at it as a constant struggle on a wide range of issues, but certainly racial justice is one vital one," Baldwin said.