Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his historic victory in the union-generated recall election proves voters will reward state and local leaders who tackle controversial issues head-on. But to succeed, he said, reformers can’t just talk about problems -- they must “go out and aggressively work to fix them.”
Walker’s advice on how other state leaders can use his success in Wisconsin as a roadmap came in an exclusive Newsmax interview. Walker indicated his win – the first time a governor has survived a recall -- would encourage other governors to enact similar reforms.
“I think it suggests that anyone who is willing to take on the tough, tough fiscal challenges facing our states and our federal government will be uplifted by the voters,” he said. “We had a state that has been historically evenly split, yet voters said they wanted elected officials who had the courage to tackle these tough problems.
“That’s what we did, and I think the results speak for themselves,” he said.
See our exclusive excerpt from Scott Walker's interview:
Walker told Newsmax that his eight years as a county executive prior to being elected governor showed him “first-hand the kind of harm that collective bargaining imposes on local governments, and school boards, and county boards, and city councils as well as on state government.”
That experience motivated him to support controversial reforms that triggered a backlash from Big Labor, which spent over $10 million trying to defeat him in the recall.
Suggesting he’d learned a few lessons himself, Walker cautioned that governors should be careful to solicit the views of their various constituencies before they move forward.
Noting he began the recall battle with low poll numbers, he said: “I think it reflected the fact that we were so eager to fix things, I ran out and fixed them, and then talked about them. Most politicians talk about them, and never fix them.
“I think the best advice I’d pass on to other executives, be they governors or mayors, is make sure you do both,” he said. “Talk about the problems, talk about what you face -- and then go out and aggressively work to fix them.
See the full Newsmax interview — Walker Urges Romney to Define What He Stands for and Win
See other exclusive excerpts from the Newsmax interview with Gov. Scott Walker:
Gov. Walker Begs Off Potential VP Talk
Gov. Walker to Newsmax: Wisconsin Becoming a Swing State
Walker to Romney: 'Parallel What We Did' To Win
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