TAMPA, Fla. -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker received a hero's welcome on Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, where he addressed a crowd of approximately 20,000 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Walker walked out to the first standing ovation of the night. His attempts to thank the crowd were drowned out by thunderous applause, whistles and loud cheers. The crowd stood on its feet for well over a minute as the governor opened his speech by citing his victory over labor unions and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) in June's historic recall election -- to which Republicans have repeatedly pointed in their argument against government spending and looking to the public sector to create jobs.
"On June 5th, voters in my swing state were asked to decide if they wanted elected officials who measure success by how many people are dependent on the government," Walker said, "or if they wanted leaders who believe success is measured by how many people are not dependent on the government, because they control their own destiny in the private sector."
"On June 5th, voters in Wisconsin got to determine who was in charge," he continued. "Was it the big-government special interests in Washington ... or the hard-working taxpayers of our state?"
"The good news is that -- on June 5th -- the hardworking taxpayers won," he added, to resounding applause.
Walker's status as one of the brightest stars in the Republican Party was obvious even before his speech. On Tuesday afternoon, when he spoke briefly on behalf of the Wisconsin delegation to nominate Romney, the crowd gave him a standing ovation and loudly cheered both the governor and his state -- which is home to both the party's vice presidential nominee and the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
In his speech Tuesday night, Walker also heaped praise on Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, a decision he had previously referred to as a "game-changer." In the past, Walker has criticized the Romney campaign for being overly cautious.
"With this pick, he showed us that the 'R' next to his name doesn't just stand for Republican. It stands for reformer," Walker told the Tampa crowd.