CKE Restaurants CEO Says Media Unfairly Attacked Gov. Walker’s Job Policies

Wisconsin under Walker has done ‘better than probably any state,’ Andrew Puzder tells CNBC.

A prominent American businessman said the media have unfairly “pounced” on recent data to slam Gov. Scott Walker’s employment policies in Wisconsin.

CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder, whose company owns Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. and other restaurants, defended Walker’s jobs record on CNBC’s Squawk Box May 19. According to Puzder, Walker’s critics in the media took data “completely out of context” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“The media was like saying, you know, things weren’t good last week, he’s [Walker] a terrible governor. Well, if you look over the four years, the results have been incredibly good, better than probably any state,” Puzder said.

Puzder argued that Wisconsin “had actually done extremely well with respect to all of the metrics. And in the state rankings comparing state to state, it improved against the other states in every one of these significant rankings.”

Puzder was expanding on comments he made in a May 3, Wall Street Journal op-ed. In it, Puzder faulted the media for having “pounced” on the recent BLS report as an indication that Walker’s policies left Wisconsin “trailing much of the nation” on job creation. He said the report “failed to give sufficient context to Wisconsin’s job growth.”

Squawk Box co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin also asked Puzder, “A lot of companies are raising wages on their own. Are you doing the same?”

“Well everybody has to raise wages, because everybody else is raising wages, which is exactly how they should go up,” Puzder said. “The market should drive wages up.”

Co-host Joe Kernen jokingly followed up, “You mean instead of wage and price controls it should be market determined? What a concept.”