Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who won her recall election alongside Governor Scott Walker just last month, was proud to say she was part of the “movement of moms across the country willing to fight like cats for their kids.” Kleefisch, the closing speaker for this weekend’s Smart Girl Summit and who was greeted with a standing ovation, declared that Wisconsin wisely chose to go “forward” by electing leaders that represented their voices for reform.
Kleefisch said people came together to help the “epic battle that was being waged in Wisconsin between the big special interest groups and your average working family,” she said. “It surprises me that anyone can afford to give a campaign a cent. But… some things are so important that we’re willing to get squeezed a little bit…We do what it takes to make the future brighter for our kids.” With this she introduced the theme of her speech: backwards vs. forwards.
Kleefisch described the situation in Wisconsin as “Problems from the past, problems from the future and, every single day, getting squeezed more and more and more in between. So, we faced a choice. Forward or back. Backward, we could pander to the folks with the entitlement mentality, hoping that they would be beholden to us when elections ran around, much like our president does very often; or we could actually put on the big girl pants and do what parents do. Make a decision that is right for the entire Wisconsin family.”
Though Kleefisch ran against the head of the Wisconsin Firefighters’ Union, she kept her position because, quite simply “the reforms had worked.” In Wisconsin, a budget deficit had become a surplus without raising taxes, jobs were being created, and the economy was looking up. Therefore, “When wisconsin went back to the polls to choose between forward or backward, Wisconsin chose to stand with the leaders who stood with them. Wisconsin chose forward.”
The Lieutenant Governor spoke about how the victory in Wisconsin resonated throughout America, saying that “What we did was show the country that, when you do the right thing, the voters will have your back. We had built strength and endurance as a state.” Kleefisch then ended with these encouraging words for November- “Let’s retake America.”