Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) says that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Tuesday win is proof that austerity measures "will help our nation" and that "thugs" in union leadership were the ones that really needed to be recalled.

"It's good and encouraging news," Palin told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren after Walker defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Tuesday. "It's good for the entire country because people are going to recognize through Gov. Walker's efforts that austerity measures -- responsible austerity measures of reigning in government growth -- really will help our nation as a whole with the economic woes that we face."

"This is positive news," she added. "And Wisconsin is living up to its state's motto, that providential motto of 'forward.' They're moving forward."

Susteren asked the former governor what Walker could do to begin to "heal those deep wounds" caused after he worked to eliminate collective bargaining rights for some public worker unions.

"He keeps on keeping on," Palin insisted. "Somebody could encourage our good union brothers and sisters there in Wisconsin -- and I say it as a former IBEW sister and my husband as a steel worker, an IBEW brother -- that maybe it's the union leadership there, those thugs that wanted to deceive their members into believing that growing government was the answer."

"Well, perhaps, it's those union leaders that need to be recalled and replaced with those that understand what, perhaps, a union role could be in state government, not a selfish role."

Watch this video from Fox News' On the Record, broadcast June 6, 2012.

(h/t: Media Matters)