MILWAUKEE — On the morning of the Republican presidential debate at Fiserv Forum in Downtown Milwaukee, WTMJ N.O.W. co-hosts Steve Scaffidi and Sandy Maxx sought the perspective of Wisconsin Democrats.
They were joined by Chairman Ben Wikler of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to discuss the Republican presidential candidates, debate topics and the perspective of Wisconsin Democrats on the large Republican presence in the state this election cycle.
Scaffidi questioned whether Wisconsin Democrats would even bother watching the first Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee.
“As Democrats, we want to make sure both that everyone sees this Republican debate, because I anticipate they’re gonna get a real sense of what the Republican presidential field wants to do to this country,” Wikler said. “This is not the kinda of ‘tailored for the swing voter’ message. This is the raw, uncut stuff that the GOP is trying to move toward.”
Among the topics Wikler listed as GOP focuses include the denial of the 2020 presidential election, a push toward implementing a national abortion ban, and increased taxes on benefits like the social security program or medicare. He claimed that Wisconsin Democrats will also be watching the debate so they can “push back with the truth” if false statements are made.
Wikler also claimed that many Republican presidential candidates have done a poor job of pushing back against far-right policy.
“I don’t see any of these Republican candidates for President, this time, unlike any other cycles, none of them are saying ‘This is too much. We need to shift back to where most voters are,’ and I think it’s good for a country to have a competitive, healthy Democracy with differences of opinion,” Wikler said. “This seems like the MAGA Olympics”
His fear is that more Republican candidates will buy into the extreme tactics that led to the infamous U.S. Capitol riots in January 2020 in order to gain fame and earn favor from Trump supporters in his absence from the debate stage.
If you would like to hear the full conversation, you can listen here in your browser, by clicking here for the WTMJ N.O.W. podcast on our website, or on your podcast platform of choice.
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