U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson continues to receive criticism regarding comments he made about House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-01 at a Republican event in Jefferson County. On Thursday, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-WI05, responding to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on the remarks by Nicholson, issued a statement correcting Nicholson about Ryan’s record.
“Speaker Paul Ryan has been a steadfast leader in Wisconsin and Washington in support of conservative ideals,” said Sensenbrenner. “Contrary to recent comments made by U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson, Paul’s prominent footprint in Wisconsin is visible every day through the continued achievements of the many conservative leaders that he has helped elect, guide, and inspire.”
The footprint comment was in direct response to a statement by Nicholson in the recorded conversation that Ryan “has a light footprint in this state.” Nicholson was speaking to two unidentified Republicans about Ryan at a Republican event in Jefferson County when the recording was made. The Nicholson campaign says there was a third unidentified Republican present who likely recorded the conversation and then gave it to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“The victories of 2016 would not have been possible without Paul’s tireless efforts, and he will continue his work on behalf of all Wisconsinites in 2018 to ensure we elect another sound conservative Senator,” Sensenbrenner added. “Any candidate seeking that office would benefit greatly from Paul’s experience and leadership.”
Nicholson’s campaign responded to Sensenbrenner’s statement with a statement of their own to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Nicholson is a supporter of Ryan.
“As Kevin stated in Jefferson County, he believes that Paul Ryan and the House have been successful in advancing President Trump’s agenda,” Nicholson spokesman Michael Antonopolous said in the statement. “He supports the Speaker. He is running to defeat Tammy Baldwin and enact conservative solutions.”
In addition to the light footprint remark, Nicholson told the two other Republicans that he agreed with them that Ryan’s criticism of President Donald Trump during the campaign last year, “is awful.” And in response to a comment that Ryan wasn’t really a conservative, Nicholson said:
“Yeah, I know, look. And if he wants, uh, if he wants actually people in the Senate that can get the agenda through that, you know, the House keeps passing these bills, then he needs people in Wisconsin motivated to go out and do something.”
Meanwhile, Nicholson’s opponent state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, released a list of 100 Wisconsinites that are endorsing her.
“Voters have seen the amazing conservative change we’ve accomplished in Wisconsin, and they want to send someone with a proven record of winning to help pass President Trump’s agenda,” Vukmir said in the press release Thursday. “I am humbled by the in-state support I am receiving, and when I get to Washington, I will deliver results.”