Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI7) thinks Kevin Nicholson and his allies have gone too far in attacking state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield). In a new ad for Vukmir’s campaign for U.S. Senate, Duffy says attacking Vukmir for not being sufficiently supportive of President Donald Trump is “fake news.”
“The ads against Leah Vukmir are ‘fake news,'” Duffy said. “Leah stood with President Trump in 2016 and she will as your next senator.”
“Fake News” is a favorite expression of Trump’s when describing media coverage critical of his administration, popularized during the 2016 campaign.
Duffy also appears in a radio ad defending Vukmir, as well.
“Now Leah’s running for Senate, and I can’t think of anyone who will do more to help President Trump drain the swamp,” Duffy says in the ad. “She’s a tested, proven, consistent conservative who can beat Tammy Baldwin.”
The Duffy ads follow an ad by the Nicholson campaign capitalizing on a report in Breitbart News which shows a video of Vukmir saying that she would not endorse Trump because he “offends everyone.” Neither the ad nor the Breitbart News article gives the context of the statement, that it was made prior to the Wisconsin presidential primary in 2016 when Trump was defeated by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Both Vukmir and Nicholson supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) prior to his dropping out of the race. Nicholson even contributed to Rubio’s campaign. Nicholson now claims he voted for Trump in the Wisconsin primary over Cruz, despite repeated saying on the campaign trail that, should he defeat Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in November, he would like to emulate Cruz.
After Trump won the nomination, Vukmir campaigned for Trump, including appearing in an ad with other Republican women following the release of a tape of Trump claiming he could sexually assault women because he was rich and famous. The ad was viewed as risky for Vukmir at the time because of the perception Trump was likely to lose Wisconsin to Hillary Clinton.