Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker greets supporters at an election-night rally… (Scott Olson / Getty Images )
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, triumphant in Tuesday’s recall election, offered advice to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during an appearance on “Face the Nation” Sunday.
“Gov. Romney has a shot if the ‘R’ doesn’t stand for Republican, but reformer,” Walker said, touting his role in changing Wisconsin’s policy toward public worker unions and government spending.
“I don’t think we win if it’s just a referendum on Barack Obama. I think people like Paul Ryan and others hope that he [Romney] goes big and bold,” Walker said. His comments broke from the standard Republican emphasis on making this year’s presidential race about Obama’s record in office.
Walker also strayed from Romney’s contention that the Wisconsin election had sent a message that can be applied to the rest of the country.
“I think it's slightly different,” Walker said when asked about Romney’s assertion. “In our case what they wanted was people to take on the tough issues.";
Romney had said Friday that Obama ";wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin?”
Asked if he agreed that firemen and other public workers are examples of government waste, Walker demurred.
";I know in my state our reform allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers; that's not what I think when I think of big government,” he said.
Walker beat Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by seven points in Tuesday's recall election and has become a hero to many Republicans. His victory also awoke hopes that Wisconsin may be up for grabs in November.
Obama won Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes by nearly 14 percentage points in 2008
";Six months ago, I think the White House had it firmly in their column. I think it is up in the air"; now, Walker said.
In exit polls conducted Tuesday, Obama held a 51% to 45% lead over Romney among Wisconsin voters.