WASHINGTON – He defied the odds by beating back a gubernatorial recall election.

He’s become a darling of conservatives from coast to coast.

He’s even being talked about as a possible vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the keynote speaker at the “Defending the American Dream Summit” in Washington this week – an address that will be live-streamed by WND-TV between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Eastern Friday.

Walker instantly became a national political star after assuming office last year by taking on public employee unions in an effort to balance the state’s budget. But unions from all over the country fought back by promoting a recall election of the 45-year-old governor. When Walker won the recall election June 5, his political star rose even higher.

His speech can be seen on WND-TV between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Eastern Friday night. Sign up now to get free access to the latest WND-TV live-stream event.

Prior to Walker’s speech, columnist Michelle Malkin will speak followed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. You can catch all the action live on WND-TV – but you must sign up for the free telecast.

Walker is a preacher’s kid who became an Eagle Scout and met Ronald Reagan, whom he credits with inspiring him into politics and being his role model.

Walker won a state Assembly seat in 1993 in a special election, after working in marketing and fundraising for the American Red Cross for several years.

He enrolled at Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1986. He attended college for four years but never graduated, working part-time for IBM selling warranties. His IBM job led to a full-time position in marketing and fundraising at the Red Cross from 1990 to 1994.

Walker became Milwaukee County executive in a special election called in April 2002, after the former county executive, Tom Ament, resigned in the wake of a county pension fund scandal. He won another four-year term in 2008, defeating state Sen. Lena Taylor.

As part of his gubernatorial campaign platform, Walker said he would create 250,000 jobs in his first term through a program that would include tax cuts for small businesses, capital gains tax cuts and income tax cuts for the highest-earning Wisconsinites. Walker proposed cutting state employee wages and benefits to help pay for the tax cuts. He also said he would refuse an $810 million award from the federal Department of Transportation to build a high-speed rail line from Madison to Milwaukee, because he believed it would cost the state $7.5 million per year to operate and would not be profitable.

Walker has stated that he is “100 percent pro-life” and that he believes life should be protected from conception to natural death. He supports abstinence-only sex education in the public schools and opposes state-supported clinical services that provide birth control and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases to teens under the age of 18 without parental consent. He supports the right of pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives on religious or moral grounds. He supports adult stem cell research but opposes human embryonic stem cell research.

Walker married Tonette Marie Tarantino in February 1993, and they have two children. The family attends a non-denominational evangelical Christian church in Wauwatosa.

Sign up now to get exclusive access to this WND-TV live-stream event between 7 and 9:30 p.m. Eastern Friday.

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