WI Republicans Agree on One Thing: They Can’t Agree on Who Should Run Against Tammy Baldwin

Apr 13, 2023

WI Republicans Agree on One Thing: They Can’t Agree on Who Should Run Against Tammy Baldwin

MADISON, Wis. — After Tammy Baldwin launched her reelection campaign yesterday, Wisconsin Republicans were caught flat-footed, scrambling to respond to her record of protecting our jobs, our health care, and our freedoms.

Top conservatives across the state were already attacking potential GOP Senate candidates, sniping about who will be the best MAGA extremist for them to run.

See below for coverage of conservative media arguing over the GOP field for Senate: 

  • Jay Weber on WISN:
    • “[Gallagher] would just challenge Trump on some things. And of course, Donald Trump doesn’t like that. So, you know, and Donald Trump’s followers don’t like that. So Gallagher has as a concern just in general about running statewide and having, you know, that segment of the Republican Party that has a bunch of staunch Trump fans sour on him. So if Trump is on the ticket in 2024, I don’t think Gallagher goes, okay, I’m taking on Tammy Baldwin in 2024.”
    • “Well, there is a segment of people that follow Trump that whatever comes out of his mouth, that’s gospel. And they’re going to believe he can sour Republicans on other Republicans with just a statement.”
  • Dan O’Donnell on WISN:
    • “The only names I’ve seen who I would consider to be serious candidates, Eric Hovde, who apparently flirts with running for every single race ever.
    • “And unfortunately, the same probably goes for Mike Gallagher, who I know national Republicans have been trying to recruit because he’s considered to be the candidate with the brightest future. The problem is Baldwin is an entrenched two term incumbent who will be very difficult to beat. Other names that I have seen are Tommy Thompson, who again, apparently just every time there’s, ‘hey, you know what? I could run…’ but you get the picture. I don’t know. Are there any retreads? Someone texted in, ‘Could we run Dan Kelly again?’ Third time’s the charm. Maybe this time he’ll lose by 15.”
    • “Stop listening to the Tommy Thompson people who will tell you that whatever candidate Republicans come up with can’t win… This primary nonsense almost invariably over the past several years, egged on by whoever it is Uihlein supports and whoever it is that the Tommy Cabal decides is going to be the candidate in the smoky backroom launches this all out primary war that only serves to ensure that Democrats win.”
  • Meg Ellefson and Matt Kittle on WSAU:
    • Meg Ellefson: “I would like to see,  you know, you can be angry with me, a fresh face… my hope is that we have a fresh face that’s running and that it’s not, as Rush Limbaugh used to say, a retread, someone who’s run for office before unsuccessfully.”
    • Matt Kittle: “You know, there’s a lot of talk about, you know, we’ll need the conservatives win that seat, we’ll need… name recogni[tion], you know, a woman candidate, a conservative to beat Tammy Baldwin. The problem we were talking about, you and I, over and over again is that in 2024, just as the Democrats did last week, as they did in 2022, they’re going to continue to use the abortion issue as a sort of political cudgel.”

“Wisconsin Republicans know they can’t hold a candle to the work Tammy Baldwin has done for Wisconsin. That’s why they spent the first 24 hours of this race trashing their own potential candidates, setting up what is sure to be a messy primary,” said Arik Wolk, Rapid Response Director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.