Wisconsin Public Radio

Walker, Republicans Warn of Blue Wave

Ryan says farewell, Vukmir endorsed at annual state convention of GOP party.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - May 14th, 2018 02:23 pm
Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Republican Party of Wisconsin's convention Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Milwaukee. Photo by Laurel White/WPR.

Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s convention Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Milwaukee. Photo by Laurel White/WPR.

Gov. Scott Walker and other state GOP leaders warned conservative voters Saturday of an impending “blue wave” in the fall general election, urging members of the party to mobilize before November.

Republicans gathered in Milwaukee for the annual state party convention over the weekend, where Walker gave a speech touting his gubernatorial campaign.

Walker used his speech to warn GOP voters of the importance of the fall election in light of recent surprise Democratic victories in the state and across the country.

“We need to wake up,” he said. “This election is going to be tougher than any we’ve faced so far and the consequences are greater than ever.”

In April, Democrat-backed state Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Dallet defeated her opponent, who was backed by Republicans in the officially nonpartisan race, by 12 points. In January, a Democrat won a state Senate special election in a district President Donald Trump won by 17 points in 2016.

Across the country, Democrats have also won surprise victories this year in Alabama, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Walker warned a “blue wave” could wipe out Republicans’ historically large majorities in the state Legislature and roll back GOP-backed changes to voter identification laws, tax breaks for manufacturers, and the state welfare system.

“We’ve shown the world that common-sense, conservative reforms work — but that could all go away in one election,” Walker said.

Democrats were quick to weigh in on Walker’s remarks, arguing he is “in a panic” as the fall approaches.

“His agenda is wildly unpopular,” said Melanie Conklin, state Democratic Party spokeswoman.

Ryan Gives Farewell Speech

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke Saturday afternoon at the state convention for the last time as speaker of the house.

Ryan announced in April he will not seek another term representing Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, which he has done for nearly two decades.

In his remarks, the speaker focused more on his accomplishments in office than the potentially tough election cycle ahead. He touted Republican-backed laws that have moved through Congress since President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

“We have done so much in such a short a time,” Ryan said.

Those accomplishments include rolling back a number of regulations put in place by the Affordable Care Act and the high-profile package of tax changes passed late last year.

“I just want to say thank you,” Ryan said to the crowd of Wisconsin Republicans. “We have done so much together for so long.”

Ryan will continue serving in Congress until November.

State Legislative Leaders Tout Accomplishments

GOP leaders in the state Legislature took to the convention stage to offer their accomplishments over the past several years as a barrier to Democratic victories in the fall.

“That blue wave is about to crash into the red wall,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau.

Fitzgerald touted new laws on guns and abortion and predicted “MSNBC hosts are going to be crying on screen” after the fall elections.

In his remarks, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said if elected to majorities, Democrats would work to eliminate GOP-backed right-to-work laws and the state’s school voucher program.

“Freedom is on the line,” Vos said.

Party Endorses Vukmir

Delegates at the convention also voted Saturday to endorse state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, in the U.S. Senate election this fall.

Delegates chose to give the party’s official support to Vukmir over former Marine Kevin Nicholson.

Nicholson has criticized Vukmir for being an “establishment Republican,” arguing he would bring a political outsider’s perspective to Washington. He has also downplayed the importance of the party endorsement.

Vukmir and Nicholson will face each other in August’s partisan primary. The winner of that race will face incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in November.

Listen to the discussion here.

Walker, Wisconsin Republicans Warn Party Convention Of ‘Blue Wave’ In November was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

6 thoughts on “Walker, Republicans Warn of Blue Wave”

  1. Terry says:

    No more crazy far right-wing extremists in Wisconsin please. We are FULL up already!

    Dump Walker 2018!
    Dump ALL republicans 2018!

  2. A Prire says:

    All I can wish/dream of is your embarrassment. The Republican party let us all down. Facts ARE facts!

  3. Tom says:

    “Freedom is on the line” the lying fraud Vos got that right. The freedom to have our voting rights back after republicans STOLE them! The freedom to get all this nasty Big Corporate Dark Money put of our political system after republicans let it in. The freedom to work in a real economy for a living wage not just pay more and more in taxes to subsidize som Chinese company. The freedom to have decent affordable healthcare which Walker and republicans deny millions in the state. The freedom to not have crumbling roads and infrastructure while Walker and republicans run up a billion dollar DOT debt . The freedom for adults to marry who they want, which Walker and repuicans want to deny millions. The freedom for women to have a right in their own healthcare decisions not just some old, fat, wrinkly white republican man. The freedom to have clean air and water which republicans have allowed to be polluted and trampled. The freedom for responsible adults to use cannabis which Walker and republicans have denied millions in the state. The freedom to not have Big Corporate interests and special interest groups control our political system like they control Walker and republicans. The freedom to have a fully funded education system not a gutted one like Walker and republicans. I could go on and on…Yes, it is about freedom. The freedom to kick all these lying, corrupt slimeball republicans out of office once and for all in November!

  4. pg1946 says:

    Amen, Terry, A Prire, and Tom–and thanks, Tom, for a review of the more egregious horrors visited upon us by the GOP.

  5. MKE Kid says:

    All I have to say is don’t get complacent about the supposed Blue Wave. Walker and his Koch, etc. funded cabal are going to be flooding TV (who the hell watches that anymore) with negative ads along with ominous music and scratchy B&W films/photos of evil Dem candidates. Those ads are laughable and look like they were conjured up by some freshman film student, but they sure work with frightened old white people. I know. I have family members who have entered that realm. The fear and insecurity with Alzheimer’s fuels the flames.

  6. Terry says:

    Wisconsin Republicans have needlessly destroyed millions of good, loving, caring, hardworking Wisconsinite’s lives and literally ripped families apart with their regressive, draconian, far right-wing agenda. Whoever the Democrats run will be far, far, far, more ethical and positive for ALL Wisconsinites, not just Career Politician Scott Walker’s Billionaire campaign donors.

    Dump Walker 2018!
    Dump ALL Republicans in 2018!

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