Scott Walker on Principles & Values
Republican Wisconsin Governor
I ran for governor because I was worried about my kids' future. Then, I took on the big government union bosses, and we won. They tried to recall me, and we won. They targeted us again, and we won.
We balanced the budget, cut taxes, and turned our state around with big, bold reforms.
It wasn't too late for Wisconsin, and it's not too late for America.
During his political rise in Wisconsin, Walker did not often emphasize his faith. But evangelicals make up nearly 60% of Republican caucusgoers in Iowa. They are an important factor in Southern primaries. And they continue to have an outsize influence on the Republican nominating process.
Before the elder Walker retired in 1995, at the age of 56, he struggled with depression. His wife, Pat, and the teenage Scott Walker shouldered some of his pastoral duties. "There were Sundays when Scott would preach the sermon," the current pastor said.
WALKER: Abraham Lincoln I think had it right. He said, "God doesn't pick winners in politics. He just calls us to be on his side." And in this case, I think there are people of faith who can have a variety of political views out there. But for us personally, you know, we make important decisions like we did years ago to run for governor. And a lot of it was about Tonette and I and our sons praying about it and asking if it was God's will for us to run. When I got married, when we had children, we made other important decisions. And the same thing would be true in making a decision here. We're trying to discern whether or not it's God's will for us to run and then ultimately figure out the next step in terms of who's winning, that's going to be up to the voters.
WALKER: You can give speeches all you want, but I think what we have is not only amongst Republican voters, but even with independents, people want people to lead. They don't need to agree with you 100 percent of the time on every issue, but they are so sick and tired of politicians in both parties, particularly in Washington, who say one thing on the campaign trail and do something else. I think those 100,000 protesters four years ago who came in and around our capitol showed, if we think we're doing the right thing for the people, it doesn't matter what the intimidation factor is. We'll stand up and stand up for them.
WALKER: Well, in our case, we had double digits with independent. Our state's a blue state historically. We can't win without independents. We won with double digit votes from independent voters. And probably one of the most exciting things for me was 18 to 24 year olds was statistically essentially a tie. So we reached out to young voters, not just traditional voters, who were voting our way.
Q: You said that you thought that the reason why you had success in Wisconsin and that President Obama had success in Wisconsin is that you were both principled in your beliefs. Do you think that centrism doesn't work in Wisconsin?
WALKER: I think in Wisconsin, we're very much like the rest of America. Independent voters, which decide elections in swing states like ours want people to lead. They want people to have big, bold ideas, and then act on them
WALKER: In our case, it's pretty unique. People who want to know about my biography--how I became an eagle scout or what sports I did as a kid--they're going to be disappointed because this is really a book about the reforms that we did in Wisconsin, what we did, how we did it, most importantly, why we did it. And then at the end, a little bit of a reaction is to how it can apply to other states and ultimately to our nation's capital. We went through some pretty big attention early in 2011. The recall election was the first ever where a governor was successful and I think people wanted to know what, where and why. I hope actually more than just conservatives across the country read it, because I think they'll be surprised to see what they weren't seeing throughout the debate.
If this issue seems like a sideshow compared to what the recall is supposed to be about--a referendum on Walker, his agenda, and his style of governance--that's because views of Walker appear deeply entrenched among the Wisconsin electorate.