Gov. Walker: We will prevail in June 5th recall

Wisconsin governor on recall effort, state politics


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: To the war in Wisconsin.

As the recall fight against Republican Governor Scott Walker kicks up, his reforms are kicking in. And now property tax bills are ticking down. That’s the first time in 12 years that has happened. And the governor says what he is doing is working.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WIS.: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel just this week wrote an editorial comment on their blog that talked about how the decrease in property taxes that we have experienced that we have not had in years is directly because of our reforms and will continue to be a stark contrast to both of my main opponents, who say they are going to lift the caps on property taxes should they be elected governor.

VARNEY: Now, I know you have heard this before, but I’m going to repeat it. The teachers say that because of you, they are going to have to pay more towards their pensions, that you are going to reopen existing contracts and renegotiate them, and teachers are going to get less and that you are taking it out on them.

And your response again?

WALKER: Not at all. In fact, I have two sons, a junior and a senior, who go to public school right here in the state of Wisconsin.

Their school, because of our reforms, is actually to hire more teachers, like a lot of schools across the state. They use savings out there to hire more teachers and to lower classroom sizes. In many cases, many of our school districts are actually able to set money aside to pay based on performance to reward excellence in education.

So, yes, public employees like myself and others are paying a little bit more for pensions and a little bit more for health insurance premiums, but still far less than the middle-class taxpayers in our state, the very people I am standing up to protect.


Mitch Daniel, a Republican governor in Indiana, yesterday endorsed Romney. John Kasich, Republican governor Ohio, today endorsed Mitt Romney.

Scott Walker, Republican governor Wisconsin, Mitt Romney, when?

WALKER: I think Mitt Romney is a great guy. I think he is a great turnaround agent, what he did for companies, for our country in the Olympics, and what he could do as president would be outstanding.

But between now and June 5, I am totally focused on making sure we win here in the state of Wisconsin and we will talk after that about the presidential sweepstakes. But for now, I owe it to the people of Wisconsin, the majority of people who voted me the first time, to stay completely focused and devoted to what we’re doing here in our state.

VARNEY: Now, that's the June 5 recall election. And they have -- your opponents, the Democrats, have not decided on one single candidate to run against you and I believe they have a primary in the month of May.

WALKER: That's right.

VARNEY: But that is an open primary, isn’t it, Governor? Republicans could actually vote in it. Is there an opportunity there for a little mischief on the part of the Republicans?


WALKER: Well, there is some who have talked about it. And May 8 is their primary.

But Kathleen Falk or Tom Barrett, the two main Democrats, both of them are, really, almost running over each other to see who can pander most to the radical left and to the big government union bosses in our state. They both in this last week talked about repealing the caps and property taxes, those caps you started out by talking about that for the first time in more than a decade have brought us true property tax relief and actual reduction of property taxes, and they are pandering to see who can be the biggest defender of the big government union bosses.

We took the power away from those handful and instead put it in the hands of the hardworking taxpayers of our state. In either case, our opponent is not going to be the person on the ballot. It's going to be the out-of-state money from the big government union bosses and that is why we are hoping people help us out at to counter that message at the grassroots level.

VARNEY: Do you have a lot of money pouring in from out-of-state? I know that the Democrats have a lot of union money coming in from out-of- state. You have a lot of out-of-state money, too, I think.

WALKER: Well, the people from all across my state and all across the country have helped us out.

In fact, our last report showed that more than 76 percent of our donations came from people who gave me $50 or less. That is people who go to our Web site at and click off and give us $25 or $30 or $40 at a time. But that really makes a difference because that makes up for the literally tens of millions of dollars that is coming in from out- of-state from the big government unions.

They spent it last year trying to take out our Supreme Court justice and they spent it trying to change the vote last spring and they spent it last summer trying to take out six of our Republican state senators who also face recalled elections.

We ultimate prevailed in each of those races. And I believe we will prevail again now on June 5. But we are going to need a lot of grassroots support.

VARNEY: I hear that when you go out-of-state, like Oklahoma, you, sir, are a rock star. I hear you were virtually mobbed just the other day, is that right?


WALKER: Well, I have got two high school sons who would laugh at me being called a rock star.

I think when I go to Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, here in Wisconsin; they think I go to the old fogies’ stand. So rock star is not exactly the phrase I would use.


VARNEY: You’re popular with conservatives. And I’m wondering are you therefore on a short list or any list for vice president?

WALKER: I have got a big list of things that need to be done here to continue to get our state working again. And so I think if anyone out of Wisconsin is on a short list, it is my friend Paul Ryan, who would make an exceptional vice president, not just as a candidate, but more so in office. He is brilliant. He’s one of the boldest people I know.

VARNEY: Would you reject it? Would you just flatly...


WALKER: Well, again, I...

VARNEY: You would totally reject it? Would you?

WALKER: I would advise Mitt Romney if he wanted to pick someone great from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan is the best pick out there, no doubt about it.

VARNEY: If drafted, I will not run. If nominated, I will not accept. If elected, I will not serve.

Will you make a Shermanesque categorical rejection?




WALKER: In my case, I will stay focused on Wisconsin.

Our bottom line is, after June 5, I think people who are going to help us win this election want me to get through this and get the job done. We will leave national politics up to people like Paul Ryan.

VARNEY: But just let me go back to Paul Ryan for a second. You support him for vice president, and you support his policies? You like his budget?

WALKER: Absolutely. Well, I think he’s brilliant.

I think part of the reason why we have gotten such great response not only from conservative groups, but I was just at a factory this morning -- from factor workers and from farmers and from small business owners around my state, is because they understand we have done in our state, and continue to do, what people have complained about for years.

And that is politicians routinely getting in office and fail to have the courage to take on the tough issues we all know need to be taken on. Paul Ryan is doing it in Washington and we have done it here in Wisconsin. I believe voters of both our state and at the national level are looking for people of courage to stand up and worry about the next generation more than we worry about the next election. And that’s why I support Paul for being a great person to put on the ticket and it’s why I’m hoping voters will continue to support me here in the great state of Wisconsin.

VARNEY: Governor Scott Walker thanks for joining us, sir. Appreciate it.

WALKER: Stuart, good to be with you.


VARNEY: All right.

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