Transcript: Remarks by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker after winning the recall election
Transcript of remarks by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on election night June 5, 2012:
“Wow! What a crowd.
“First of all, I want to thank God for his abundant grace.[Cheers]
“Next, I particularly want to thank not only all of you here but people all across the state.
“I want to thank you for your prayers because for the last year and a half, the thing that has sustained Tonette and I and Matt and Alex so much is not just the campaign events but literally at factories and farms and small businesses just about everyday over the past year and a half I’ve met people at every one of those stops and what has sustained us is many times people I’ve never met people come off the line, come off the farm and say, ‘Governor, we’re praying for you and your family.’ I can’t tell you what that means to me.
“And speaking of my family, how about keeping Tonette as the First Lady of Wisconsin?
“Tonette’s just been a rock. She is so courageous, so strong. I’m so glad more than 20 years ago on May 1, 1992, she agreed to have that first date with me and it’s been heaven ever since.[Cheers]
“Together, we’re proud to have two sons. I was going to say boys, but they’re not boys anymore. Two sons – Matt, Alex. They’ve been through a lot this last year and a half. I couldn’t be more proud. Matt’s going to graduate on Saturday and Alex is going to be a senior. They’ve just been spectacular.
“Tonette mentioned the rest of our family. My mom and dad. I know a lot of you at our victory centers have got my mom’s chocolate chip cookies. You gotta love those.
“My mom and dad. My brother, David. Sister-in-law, Maria. My two beautiful nieces, Isabella and Eva [sp?]. My father-in-law, Tony. To all my family here and to so many of our longtime friends – so many who have lifted us up over the last year and a half even when times were tough, we say thank you for all of them.
“It’s great to see so many kids out here too because that’s what it’s all about: Faith, family, and freedom.
“I want to thank our tremendous Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. To Rebecca, to her husband, State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, their two beautiful daughters, thank you to them for standing up with us as well for the proud taxpayers of Wisconsin.
“And I want to thank my incredible staff, both from the campaign and the cabinet and our capitol staff.
“To all the tremendous volunteers from all across this state – Tonette talked about it: More than 4 million voter contacts. The staff, the volunteers, the supporters, we cannot thank you enough.
“Thank you to all of you here. There’s a tent outside with an overflow because we couldn’t violate the fire code here. But there are people all over this area and all across the state, on behalf of our family, we say thank you to all of you.[Cheers]
“And thanks to all of you and everybody at home watching tonight. Thanks to all the people who yet again entrusted in me your vote as the Governor to be the 45th and continue to be the 45th Governor of the great state of Wisconsin.
“I want to tell you something, though. Just let me share with a quick little story.
“Last Fall, Tonette and I had a chance to go to our Governors’ Association meeting. We had a chance to travel to Philadelphia, and I went to Independence Hall.
“As a kid, we grew up in a small town where I loved to study history. But my parents – we didn’t have a lot of money and so we didn’t get to often go to places like Philadelphia or Washington. So for me, it was the first trip to Independence Hall.
“And I gotta to tell you, I was so touched. I stood in there. I looked at those desks, and I looked in those chairs. And even though as a kid growing up I thought about our founders as super heroes, as bigger than life. Standing in that hall, it dawned on me that these were ordinary people – ordinary people who did something quite extraordinary. They didn’t just risk their political careers. They didn’t just risk their businesses. They literally risked their lives for the freedom we hold so dear today and the men and women in uniform in this country defend every single day.
“Moment like that remind me why America and why Wisconsin are so great.
“You see, what has made our country unbelievable, what has made the United States of America exceptional, what has made the United States arguably one of the greatest countries in the history of the world is that in times of crisis – be they economic or fiscal, be they military or spiritual – in times of crisis what has made America amazing has been the fact that throughout our history, throughout the more than 200 years of our history, there had been men and women of courage who stood up and decided it was more important to look out for the future of their children and their grandchildren than their own political futures.
“And what has sustained them – and what has sustained them here in Wisconsin across our country – is been when there had been leaders of courage what has sustained them is that there were good and decent people who stood with them shoulder to shoulder and arm to arm. That’s what you have done for Wisconsin and for America.
“Tonight, we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions.
“But now, it is time to move on and move forward in Wisconsin.
“Tomorrow, I’ll meet with my cabinet in the state’s capitol, and we’ll renew our commitment to help small businesses grow jobs in this state. We’ll renew our commitment to help grow the quality of life for all of our citizens, both those who voted for me and those who voted for someone else. Because tomorrow is the day after the election, and tomorrow we are no longer opponents. Tomorrow, we are one as Wisconsinites so together we can move Wisconsin forward.[Crowd cheers]
“A few minutes ago, I talked to Mayor Tom Barrett.[Crowd jeers]
“No, no, no, no. No. The election is over. I talked to the Mayor and we had a good talk. And I said I’m committed to working with you to help the city of Milwaukee and to help the state of Wisconsin. Tomorrow, the election is over. It’s time to move Wisconsin forward.
“I’ve learned much over the last year and a half. There’s no doubt about it.
“You know, early in 2011, I rushed in to try to fix things before I talked about them. Because, you see, for years, too many politicians that I’ve seen not only in Madison but Washington and beyond talked about things but never fixed them.
“But I want to tell you, looking ahead, we know it’s important to do both. Looking ahead to tackle the challenges that face all of the people of Wisconsin, we’re both going to be committed to talking together about how to solve the problems and then working together we’re going to move forward with the solutions that put our state back on the right track towards more freedom and more prosperity for all of our people.[Cheers]
“Bringing our state together will take some time. There’s just no doubt about it. But I want to start out right away.
“In fact, next week, I’m going to invite all the members of the state legislature – Republican and Democrat alike. And what better way to bring them together than to invite them for some bratwursts and burgers, right?[Cheers]
“And maybe some good Wisconsin beer as well.
“Because I believe there is more that unites us than divides us. I believe that now the election is done, we can move on and we can move forward.
“I believe that for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, now is the time for us to come together to tackle the challenges that face our small businesses, to tackle the challenges that face our families and our businesses and our seniors and all the people who care about the future of this state. Now is the time to move forward.
“And I got to tell you, I’m committed to it. I’m committed not just to all of you here, I’m committed to everybody back at home whether you voted for me or not.
“I’m committed because for me the most important reason that I ran for Governor two years ago, the most important reason that I was willing to make the tough decisions, and the most important reason why I’m committed to work with anyone and everyone in this state who wants to help move this state forward are the two young men standing in the stage back behind me.
“I believe, as I believe people all across the state do and we have amazing numbers of people turn out to vote. But I believe what inspires us in this state is the fact that ultimately we go to work and we work hard everyday. Those of us who are moms and dads just like Tonette and I and the grandmas and grandpas who did it before us, we go to work and we work hard every single day. Not just for a paycheck. Not just to put food on the table. Not just to put clothes to the backs of our kids. We go to work every single day and we work hard for the same reasons you work hard and people all across the state work hard. We work hard because we want our children to inherit a better life, a better home, a better community, and thanks to your vote today, a better state than the one we inherited. Together, we’re going to move Wisconsin forward.
“Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the great state of Wisconsin.”
- Scott Walker’s campaign website
- C-Span.org: Video of Scott Walker’s election night speech
- Associated Press / C-SPAN: Wisconsin’s recall election results on June 5, 2012
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett concedes to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
- WhatTheFolly.com: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survives bruising recall election