MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Former President Bill Clinton is rallying Democrats in Milwaukee on behalf of the city's mayor, Tom Barrett, who's locked in a close race with Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a nationally-watched recall election.

Clinton told the crowd at a downtown riverfront park Friday that Tuesday's election is about much more than the state of Wisconsin and what's best for its residents.

He says people nationwide are looking to Wisconsin as an American battleground. Clinton says states that are recovering economically have embraced "creative cooperation," not "constant conflict" -- a reference to Walker's move to eliminate collective bargaining for most public employees.

Walker is campaigning Friday with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. She calls herself a "union buster" and considers her state's low union membership rate an economic development tool.