Gov. Walker: Time for Republicans to 'put up or shut up'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 16, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, if it is Wednesday, it must be protest day, pretty much like every day since Donald Trump was elected, at Rutgers, New Jersey, at Columbia University in New York City, and just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the themes are pretty much the same.

They are angry over those election results, even though they do express the will of the people.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, now the newly elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association, joining us out of Florida right now.

Governor, very good to have you.

Congratulations, by the way.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER, R-WIS.: Thank you, Neil. Good to be with you.

CAVUTO: What do you think of these ongoing protests, because they just seem to escalate? Fortunately, in only a couple of cases have they turned really raucous and violent, largely in the Portland, Oregon, area. But they are not stopping.

WALKER: Right.

And that is what is great about America. Obviously, I don’t want the violence to occur, but when it comes to peaceful protest, that’s the great thing about America. We are unlike just about anywhere else in the world, where you can have a transition of power from two very different viewpoints, and it becomes -- it’s a peaceful process.

And if people protest, so be it. Neil, as you know firsthand, having visited Wisconsin, years ago, we had an awful lot of protests. In fact, I think it was almost 150,000 protest occupying our capitol square and capitol at one point. But in the end, we made it through all of that.

And there are more people employed in my state than ever before, a sign that if you withstand all the protests, you can move your state and your country forward.

CAVUTO: You’re being very sanguine about it, but the fact of the matter is those protests turned very ugly for you. There were death threats against you and your family.

WALKER: They did.

CAVUTO: You got through that.

But the fact of the matter is, these things can escalate and get out of hand. You have broad swathes of people across the country now involving high school kids on both coasts who are saying that the duly elected president of the United States isn’t legitimate. What do you think of that?

WALKER: Well, again, people can say and do anything, as long as it doesn’t threaten the law or the life and safety of others in this country.

But I think the important thing is to make sure -- you mentioned it in the previous interview with Senator Warner -- that you have got the president, you have got Secretary Clinton and others acknowledging, conceding that the election was won by Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

And I think most people, regardless of party, are ready to move forward.  They’re ready to give them a chance. I think they should. I think I’m excited about the possibility to have a Republican president, Republican House, Republican Senate, and now two out of every three governors in America are Republicans.

It’s time for us to stand up and deliver, not just on the promises Donald Trump made, but that we as Republicans made in all of our races. And we do -- I think, just like our states are much better than they were a few years ago, our country will be much better.

CAVUTO: I was thinking of you, Governor, and having dealt with protests and knowing what was at stake, even though you might have had personal differences at times with certain things that Donald Trump said, you were almost like a little mini secretary of state trying to keep the peace in the party, trying to deliver Wisconsin for Republicans

Wisconsin did go that route. But there’s still a lot of angst out there among the mainstream Republicans who don’t know what they’re in for with a Donald Trump, now, a lot less so now as victors than they would have been as losers, but what do you make of that? How difficult will this be for your party?

WALKER: Oh, I think, in the end, the Republican Party is alive and well.  And it all began in the states.

If you look at the map in my state, where we’re at here with my friend Rick Scott in Florida, where we are having our meetings right now, and a number of the other battleground states where Donald Trump and Mike Pence carried the day last Tuesday, those are states that the maps are almost identical to the same areas of the states that we carried in 2010 and 2012 and again in 2014, similar to Rick Scott, Rick Snyder, John Kasich, you name it, a whole slew of Republican governors, who I think kind of set the table for a Republican presidential candidate to win.

And now, just as we did in Wisconsin, Kasich did in Ohio, Snyder has done in Michigan, Rick Scott has done here in Florida, Susana Martinez has done in New Mexico, we name it down the line, it’s, as I called it when I first came in, I said it’s put up or shut up time.

We have got to go big and we have got to go bold and we have got to do it early. That’s why I think for a lot of us, it is not just the person. We are excited about the possibility of what can happen that will really transform this country going forward, not just in the short-term, but for the long haul as well. And Republicans are going to be united, I think, overwhelmingly in seeing that go forward.

CAVUTO: It was not too long ago that Chris Christie held the position you just got elected to.

And now it’s been a spectacular fall from grace for him, Governor, where he loses his position on the transition team and his key people are kicked out. He was one of the earliest to support Donald Trump. What happened?

WALKER: Well, Chris and Mary Pat were with us the other day when Vice President-elect Mike Pence was with us. He’s still very much -- he was on the same conference call that Governor, soon-to-be Vice President Pence was on. So, I still think he’s playing a role. And I think he’s a talented guy.


CAVUTO: What if he doesn’t get a Cabinet position? What if he doesn’t get anything? I mean, wow.

WALKER: I don’t know.

In the end, I will wait and see. I would say actions speak louder than words. And whether he’s on -- I talked to Mike Pence the other day. I think they are going to put together a super Cabinet.

And I think there’s a lot of exciting people, including some who may have not been early supporters of Donald Trump, but, as I just mentioned, are excited about the possibility.

Paul Ryan’s got a Better Way plan. We have got great things happening in the states with our governors. We have got more than we have had at any point since 1922. And we’re going to have an ally I think in the White House, not only in the vice president, who is a governor and will be really a former governor, but I think Donald Trump, talking to him, listening to Mike Pence talk about it, this is a person who really fundamentally believes that much of the power that’s concentrated in Washington should be in the hands of the states, and more importantly directed into the hands of the people.

And if we do that, it will be transformational.

CAVUTO: All right, but, another thing that is amazing to me, and I like to say the election is over and whatever appear to be bygones are bygones, but when I saw Ted Cruz show up at the Trump Tower, I thought, man, oh, man, I’m looking up, are pigs flying, because, that one, few people saw.

And the talk is that he could be entertained for attorney general or some key post in a Trump administration. I mean, this is the guy Donald Trump called lyin’ Ted. What do you make of that?

WALKER: Well, say what you will. I think one of the...

CAVUTO: We just lost him here. I apologize for that.

But, again, to the governor’s point here, very odd goings-on at Trump Tower, where people who had a very nasty, acrimonious relationship with Donald Trump a little more than just weeks ago now being entertained for posts in his Cabinet.

And those that were very, very close to him, and look well-connected to him, i.e., Chris Christie, maybe not so much. It is amazing politics. And it is a reminder how quickly things are changing.

Is the governor there? Is he back with us?

Governor, I want to take a huge risk here. I hope you can hear us. Can you?


CAVUTO: All right. I apologize.

WALKER: It must be the NSA kicking in, right?

CAVUTO: There you go.

So, real quick on the Ted Cruz thing, were you surprised?


You know, to me, one of the reasons why I think Donald Trump as a businessperson long before this campaign had been successful, building a brand, putting businesses together that employ tens of thousands of people, was the fact that he employs good people. He puts good people in his management team.

That’s why so many of his operations and businesses have been successful in the past. I mean, heck, you look at his children alone have had tremendous business careers as well.

To me, it’s no surprise he’s looking at putting the best and the brightest in his Cabinet and his administration. So I think there’s a lot of people, not only those who supported him early, but those who came along the way, who want to be a part of a team, because it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Republican in the White House, Republicans in charge of the House and the Senate, Republicans controlling -- two-thirds of all the governors in the country are now Republican.

The possibilities to really transform this country, and one of the reasons why I think so many people came out for Donald Trump last week was a lot of voters feel like the rich get taken care of, the poor get taken care of, but everyday Americans get stuck with the bill.

And if we work together and figure out a way to take care for everyday Americans who have been footing that bill in the past, but just want a little more freedom and a little bit more chance to allow their children and grandchildren to live a better life, we’re not only going to win future elections. We’re going to have a much better country and certainly better states like Wisconsin.

CAVUTO: Governor, thank you very, very much. Congratulations again. Very good talking to you.

WALKER: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Governor Scott Walker.

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