Fox News "Hannity" - Transcript

Interview

By:  Becky Kleefisch
Date: June 5, 2012
Location: Unknown

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Joining me now is the very first lieutenant governor to ever face a recall in America, Wisconsin's own Rebecca Kleefisch. Lieutenant Governor, welcome back to the show.

LT. GOVERNOR REBECCA KLEEFISCH, R-WIS.: Thanks so much, Sean. I will prefer to be known hopefully after tonight as the only lieutenant governor at national history to be elected twice in my own first term.

HANNITY: All right. You are on the ground. You're there. Tell us what you're hearing and seeing.

KLEEFISCH: Well, we are hearing some of the same things that you are hearing. And that is, turnout is extraordinary. Our government accountability board predicted between 60 and 65 percent turnout. In some precincts, we know that they are over 100 percent. That's how many new voters they are signing up. I went, I voted at 4:30 today. The entire table was full of people registering to vote. All new voters. And so, we are excited about turnout tonight. We think it's good to have more people involved in the electoral process. And we are cautiously optimistic.

HANNITY: You know, you seem very optimistic, Lieutenant Governor. And, you know, I have to imagine, because this has been ugly at times. We have all seen the video, we've all seen people living the state, they delayed the vote, they left the state. All the unions and all their involvement in all of this, personally for you and Governor Walker, tell our audience, what has it been like for you and what has it been like for your state?

KLEEFISCH: You know what? I think that for our state, this has been a moment of character building. We have endured so much altogether. And I think after tonight, we will come out stronger for it. We know that we have a very passionate electorate on both sides of the aisle. But hopefully, when we wake up tomorrow, we will be focused on creating jobs together and we're going to put this recall behind us. That is what sounds good to almost all of Wisconsin. Folks want to put this recall business and the non-stop churn behind them, all the political ads. We want to enjoy our summer and work on creating jobs.

HANNITY: Well, the interesting thing to me is, the numbers look pretty good. I mean, unemployment is well below the national average, I am sure not where you want it to be at 6.7 percent. Little under 30,000 jobs created in the last year. You took a $3.6 billion deficit, you turned it into a $150 million surplus. Are you confident that that message got sent to the voters? Are they aware of all of the success?

KLEEFISCH: Sean, we have left it all on the field. We know that we have contacted more voters this time around than we did in the entire 2010 campaign. And we have been sharing that message with voters. It's a very positive message of wins for all of Wisconsin, not political victories, but good things for the taxpayers and the hard-working family, things like closing that budget deficit without raising taxes, making sure that our families and our job creators are doing so well in fact that we're going to end up with the $154 million surplus at the end of our biennial budget. These are all things that all of Wisconsin owns, these are good things, victories for everyone in our state.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this. First of all, we have heard about voter irregularities in different parts of the state. A lot of this may be being hyped up because emotions are running really high. Have you heard any of these reports today?

KLEEFISCH: You know, just from the media. I have not seen anything first hand. And that's why our Department of Justice actually deployed a number of teams to various polling places across the state to assure that there wasn't going to be any voter fraud. We also know that the Republican Party has trained so many poll watching volunteers and they are out in force as well. And now that the polls have closed, we have only to wait and hope that the voters of Wisconsin are responding to our positive message of moving the state forward.

HANNITY: You know, this is my analysis of your race. And tell me if you think maybe I am right or maybe I'm wrong.

KLEEFISCH: OK.

HANNITY: Because both you and the governor have come under tremendous pressure. It seems that Wisconsin to me is a microcosm of what is happening nationally, and that is government spending more money than they are taking in, that they cannot afford, but yet, both you and the governor have never wavered, you held strong, you never buckled. There has been incredible pressure brought to bear on you. You pushed ahead. And it seems that the public, too, is getting serious about balancing their budgets. Do you agree with me that that is what --

KLEEFISCH: It's true, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, go ahead?

KLEEFISCH: I would agree with you. I think that's a great analysis. If you take a look at how any family balances their budget around the kitchen table or any small business owner tries to balance their budget especially in the middle of a deep recession, you just can't spend more than you have. And that's what government was doing. Before we took office, government had spent so much money, they dug a big fat hole, put we the taxpayers inside of it. And it is just now, under this administration that we are helping each other out of the hole. And that's what we are doing, moving forward. We want to continue to move forward. That's what tonight is about, for us and Wisconsin. It is about going back to the days of digging that hole and putting us in a $3.6 billion deficit or moving forward to the days of balanced budget surpluses.

HANNITY: You know, Wisconsin last voted Republican in a presidential election in 1984. A lot of people have been saying that this is the second most important election of the year 2012. Do you think this gives us any indication, the results as they come in tonight, we even expect in this hour that it'll have any impact on what we can see for the November election?

KLEEFISCH: I do. Sean, I absolutely do. I think it also speaks volumes that the president has avoided Wisconsin and supporting Tom Barrett, very publicly. Because he had a choice the other day when he was in Minneapolis and Chicago to actually fly through Wisconsin. He instead chose to fly around and decided to tweet in support of Tom Barrett, the Democrat candidate, in this re-do election from 2010. But I also think that if Wisconsin continues to be red tonight, if bodes very well for our Republican nominee. I am very excited about our chances in November if we have a good night tonight.

HANNITY: Let me focus on the president because he was nearby on Friday, and he was pretty close to Wisconsin. He wouldn't have had much trouble taking a helicopter or a plane in to support the candidate. But he did send out a tweet last night. I am on Twitter, so, I am not being critical of being on Twitter. What do you think the White House's motive was for being so tepid in its endorsement?

KLEEFISCH: You know, I think the White House sees what the rest of Wisconsin sees. And that is, our reforms are working. You know, we saved between state and local governments a billion dollars, that's a big victory for taxpayers. It keeps more squad cars on the street, keeping our families safe. It keeps more women going to cancer screenings with our well woman program. These are great victories. And part of our positive message of moving the state forward. And to be frank with you, I don't know that the president wanted to come in and then potentially see a loss tonight, knowing that he did not have the ability to lift Tom Barrett to a victory.

HANNITY: All right. Lieutenant Governor, good to see you. And all the best.