Walker says Romney can win in Wisconsin if he displays "courage"

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, survived a recall election against Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, Milwaukee's mayor, by a margin of 53-to-46 percent. CBS News' Dean Reynolds reports.

(CBS News) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has some words of advice for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, saying Romney can win the Badger state if he has the "courage to take on tough problems."

"The advice I'd give, if he asked, to Governor Romney is you got to come in and make a convincing, compelling case that you are going to have the courage to take on tough problems in our nation's government, tough problems that our nation needs fixing," the Republican governor said in an interview with CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds the day after surviving his recall election against Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Walker said Romney must talk "specifically about what he is going to do" and about the "risk that he is willing to take to turn the country around."

Republicans believe that Walker's win is a boost for Mitt Romney in the battleground state.

Walker, who was forced into the recall election after protests by labor organizations and others opposed to his move to strip collective bargaining rights for many public sector workers, said his decisive win over Barrett shows that Wisconsin voters want him to finish the job he started.

"I think there were some discerning Democrats who said, 'You know, give him a shot two years from now. Let's see what the governor has done, if he's kept his promise, did he live up to the promises that he made, if he fulfilled those promises.'" Walker said.

Walker added that a reason why Wisconsin exit polls showed President Obama leading Mitt Romney 51 - 44 percent among those who voted yesterday.

"I've sensed even going around the state that there were people who were willing to give Barack Obama a chance to make his case," Walker said.

Walker defended the more than $30 million he raised to defend his seat, much of it coming from outside Wisconsin. Walker said he is not beholden to outside donors.

Specifically, he mentioned wealthy Texan Bob Perry who contributed to $500,000 Walker's campaign according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

"Perry... is a guy that got no interest in Wisconsin. He does no business in Wisconsin. He got no issues in front of state government. All he cared about was the fact that he saw another American being attacked by powerful special interests and he wanted to stand up and help defend us," Walker said.

Walker said his donors were sympathetic to the "assault" he received from the labor unions after he passed budget cuts and changes to workers' bargaining rights.

"It was overwhelming for people who saw the assault that I... faced for the past year and a half. I think overwhelmingly people from around my state and around the Midwest and some around the country said they wanted us to offset that," he said.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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