Scott Walker: 'Voters Really Do Want Leaders Who Stand Up and Make the Tough Decisions'

By Susan Jones | June 6, 2012 | 5:33am EDT

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker reacts at his victory party Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Waukesha, Wis. Walker defeated Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a special recall election. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

( - "The only governor elected twice in one term," said Scott Walker's wife Tonette Tuesday night, as she introduced her husband at a victory rally in Waukesha, following his resounding victory over the union-backed Democrat.

Walker's 7-point margin of victory (he took 53 percent of the vote to Democrat Tom Barrett's 46 percent) was larger than Walker's 5.8 percentage-point victory over Barrett in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

"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," Gov. Walker told a cheering crowd. "But now, but now it is time to move on and more forward in Wisconsin."

(Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and three out of four Republican state Senators also won their recall elections; the fourth state senate seat held by Republican Van Wanggaard narrowly went to a Democrat, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel was reporting early Wednesday.)

Gov. Walker said it's back to work on Wednesday, when he'll meet with his cabinet in the state capital: "And we'll renew our commit to help small businesses grow jobs in the 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,” Walker told the crowd that had gathered at his Election Night party.

“Because tomorrow is the day after the election and tomorrow, we are now no longer opponents. Tomorrow, we are one as Wisconsinites -- so together we can move Wisconsin forward.”

Mention of Walker's opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, drew boos from the crowd, but Walker hushed them: "No, no, no, no," he said. "The election is over." Walker said he told Barrett he is "committed to working with you to help the city of Milwaukee and help the state of Wisconsin."

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Walker said he's learned a lot in the past turbulent year and a half: "You know, early in 2011, I rush in to try to fix things before I talked about them." He added that he'd seen too many politicians "talk about things but never fix them."

Looking ahead, he said, "We know it's important to do both." Walker said he is now committed to both talking and working together to solve the state's problems – “and moving forward with the solutions that put our state back on the right track towards more freedom and more prosperity for all our people."

Walker said bringing the state together will take time, but next week's he'll start by inviting all the members of the state legislature, Republicans and Democrats alike, for brats, burgers -- "and maybe a little 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 more forward. I believe that for the sake of our children and our granchildren, now is the time for us to come together.”

Gov. Walker said the most important reason he ran for governor in the first place -- and the reason he was willing to make tough decisions -- "are the two young men standing on the stage back behind me" – his teenage sons, Matt and Alex.

"I believe, as I believe people all across the state do, and we've had amazing number 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 every day -- 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 on the backs of our kids...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."

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