OTR Interviews

Incumbent Wis. Supreme Court Justice on Wild Election: My Opponent Can Call for a Recount, But a 7,000 Vote Lead Won't Likely Be Overcome

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 7, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JOANNE KLOPPENBURG, WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT JUSTICE CANDIDATE: The numbers show that we won. We are gratified to have that victory in hand.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, not so fast. Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg is claiming victory, but did she really win? There's stunning news just breaking. Waukesha County messed up big time in counting votes. And there is a hot mayoral race in Madison which is in Dane County. Yet is it reported 10,000 ballots cast for Supreme Court race where no one voted for mayor. That's just odd.

Current Supreme Court justice and candidate David Prosser is here. He joins us live from Madison. Good evening, sir. Frankly, I don't know who to congratulate. This race has not been called, is that right?

DAVID PROSSER, WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: That's correct. The canvass is not complete. As I understand about 55 percent of the state has been covered. I believe about 70 percent will be covered by tomorrow. And I'm sitting back and waiting for the canvass to be complete.

VAN SUSTEREN: About seven, eight hours ago there was a big change. You up 400 -- you went up 40 votes. You had been behind yesterday about 200 and some change. Then the blockbuster news today, I watched the press conference in Waukesha county, stunning news. Now it looks like you are up over 7,500 votes?

PROSSER: That's my understanding, yes. In Waukesha County, more than -- I think it was 14,000 some votes were not reported to the Associated Press. They were certainly cast. We knew the figures from other stories that had been printed. But they were not actually included in the totals reported to the Associated Press.

VAN SUSTEREN: This has been one of the wildest races I've ever watched. I might add a little mean on top of it. You already have your opponent who I think claimed victory prematurely. She needs to wait to hear all the votes. But have you spoken to your opponent since Election Day?

PROSSER: I have not spoken to my opponent. It is not at all anything personal. It is simply I thought -- I'm not conceding, and I'm not congratulating. And I'm not claiming victory. We're simply waiting out the process.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think would you agree it looks better tonight than it did about midnight central time on election night.

PROSSER: I think you've got that right. I think about midnight on election night I had a very, very slight lead. It evaporated the next day when some final precincts came in different parts of the state.

But our goal all along has been to make sure that every vote was counted. That's critically important in a democracy. And lo and behold the canvas in which each county reviews totals and reports those to the state has revealed a number of errors.

VAN SUSTEREN: I assume you haven't missed the fact people see this as a referendum this race on Governor Walker.

PROSSER: I have always tried to argue the race should not be a referendum on Governor Walker or any piece of legislation that may end up in the court. Some people have insisted that it was. And they take either comfort for displeasure in what they see as the ever changing results of the election.

I like to think that I have survived a nuclear firestorm of criticism and attack and smear. So, as far as I'm concerned, if these results hold up I will be the winner. My opponent has the right to call for a recount and have the state pay for that recount if it is within a certain level. But, if you get up over 7,000 votes that's serious business that's not likely to be overcome.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, we'll be watching. Justice Prosser, thank you. We'll be watching with. We hope you come back when this race is finally called.

PROSSER: Thank you.