November 26, 2014

GOP focuses on WI battleground status in 2012

The 2012 election, the upcoming recall elections, and legislative accomplishments were among the talk by Wisconsin Republican leaders at the state GOP convention this weekend.

A hot topic was the 7th Congressional District occupied by Sean Duffy. The Republican Duffy won the seat last year after long-time Democratic incumbent Dave Obey stepped down. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner talks of how he mentored Duffy and the support he will lend toward the freshman lawmaker’s reelection campaign.

Sensenbrenner says there is “a national plan” from outside groups looking to remove Republicans’ power. This “Obama machine” includes state capitol protests and the state Supreme Court recount.

Duffy says his opposition is already running negative TV ads and doing robocalls against him. However he says the Democrats will not take control of the district as the “people are ready to be leveled with…they’re ready to be told the truth.”

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker plugged legislative accomplishments including tort reform, job bills and voter ID. Senator Fitzgerald took jabs at the Democratic Senators who left town in protest of the budget repair bill. He describes it as a game of “Where’s Waldo with the 14 fleabaggers.”

Congressman Paul Ryan says he decided not to run for the US Senate seat that will be vacated by Herb Kohl, because he wants to “finish the fight,” referring to his House Budget package that curbs government spending.

US Senator Ron Johnson encouraged the crowd to continue perfecting their political machines at the county level and look at how they can improve their communication and voter turnout.

Governor Scott Walker urged delegates for the next two months not to worry about the 2012 election which will replace Kohl’s seat. He tells them instead to focus on the six Republican state senators defending their seat in recall elections beginning this summer. Walker also says there is also a chance to defeat the three state Senate Democrats who are up for recall.

Walker talks of Wisconsin as a “battleground state.” He says the “stakes are high” and cites a media report that mentions Wisconsin and Ohio as the places big unions are pouring their money into for 2012.

Organizers say this year’s Wisconsin Republican Party convention has the largest off-year election attendance in 40 years.

AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (1:26)