Gov. Walker: I'm pro-taxpayer, not anti-union

Wisconsin governor on 2012 election, NFL referees


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, well, you know the NFL referee situation has got to be a really big mess now when Scott Walker wants the professional referees to come back, the union guys, that is, the referees are all part of a union, to come back.

He joins me right now on the phone.

Governor, this doesn't have anything to do with the Green Bay Packers, does it?


GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WIS.: Can’t imagine it, although I was with a bunch of governor's yesterday morning.

And all of them, because I wasn't with Governor Gregoire from Washington State, but all the rest of them thought I got a bum deal with the Packers on Monday night.

Obviously, watching the game as a Cheesehead, as a Packer fan, I was upset. But I think anybody outside of a die-hard Seahawk fan knew that was a mess. And having two boys that play football and I watch football with them on Sunday, there were a lot of other problems. It just was just the last straw when it actually cost somebody ultimately a game.

CAVUTO: You know, Richard Trumka and others in the union movement have seized upon your remarks, governor, to say that, really, what's the difference between backing the referee union and unions in general? And I'm quoting here, sir: "Union members bring huge value to our communities and our lives every day. Scott Walker and others would do well to remember that the next time they treat union members, firefighters, teachers, autoworkers differently than union referees, who are all cut from the same cloth."

What do you say?

WALKER: Well, that's just as ridiculous as the arguments we have heard in the last couple years. I'm pro-taxpayer, not anti-union. What I did in Wisconsin was stand up and put the power back in the hands of the hardworking taxpayers because unfortunately a handful of big government special interests, particularly big government union bosses like the one you just quoted, were taking the power away from the taxpayer. That's not the same as the private sector. A lot of private sector unions here in this state and across the country are great partners in economic development. And then the bigger picture with the NFL, I don't care whether the refs are union or non-union. I think anybody who's a fan of professional football, the NFL just knows that if they're going to have any confidence, it is not fair to have the guys who are there now, that they're just not equipped for the kind of speed and action you see in the NFL.

So I don't care whether they're union or non-union. The bottom line is, as a fan of professional football and a fan obviously of the Green Bay Packers, we need these guys back.


CAVUTO: Well, it does unite you with some Democrats in the state and representatives who fought you tooth and nail not only in your election, sir, but then obviously in the recall that you won.

I do want to switch gears, if you don't mind, governor, on the recall because I do remember going that weekend before the recall election. The polls show you dead even. And many said it would be an uphill battle for you to survive that. You ended up winning comfortably, by five or six points.

It made me wonder then, I guess as I do now, governor, should we trust these polls that show the president expanding his lead not only in your state, but in neighboring states, and that maybe he wins in these swing states in a walk, and that this is beyond just the margin of error that might be blamed for under polling conservatives and the like?

What do you think?

WALKER: No, I still think it's very close in Wisconsin and Iowa and Ohio and other states like that.

I think what you just referenced -- I actually ended up winning by almost seven points. Even the night of the election, the exit polls by many of the networks had us dead even, and we won by 205,000 more votes.


CAVUTO: No, I remember well, which begged the question whether these polls as we know them, I'm not even saying deliberately or by design, but the way they're constructed understate or under count conservative sentiment, Republican sentiment.

WALKER: Well, I was surprised. Even the next day, one of the other networks other than your own -- and you wouldn't expect this from at least one of the commentators -- said that maybe there is a certain reason, and he wasn't suggesting bias necessarily either. He was just saying particularly the exit polls that sometimes people tend to be a little bit more right-of-center. Conservative voters are reluctant to talk to the media, period, and so they under-represent the sample.

CAVUTO: But are we beyond that margin of error now, Governor, given the fact that some of these -- if it's a double-digit lead in Ohio, whether you believe it or not that -- let's say six or seven points is not to be believed. If that is your view, it is still a lead.

WALKER: I still think it's incredibly tight.

I do think, though, that for a lot of the so-called swing or undecided voters they will be looking -- just as they did at the convention, they will be looking very closely at these debates. I think on one hand there is a pretty clear indictment that things are not working right now, 43 months unemployment above 8 percent and 23 million of our fellow Americans looking for work today. It's obviously a huge problem. The indictment is there in the current administration. The question is can Governor Romney make a compelling case? And I believe he can. Can he make a compelling case that he is the guy that can fix it?

You look at his record and you look at his background, I think at the debates though he will have to make the case that he is the guy that not only has the resume to do it, but he's got the passion and the desire to do it. I think he does. And I think, when he makes that case, I think you'll see tighten up extremely, extremely close again.

CAVUTO: Governor Scott Walker, thank you very, very much, sir. Good having you on.

WALKER: Thanks, Neil. Bye now.

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