Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin lifts GOP hopes for US Senate takeover
Before he won Wisconsin's Senate primary Tuesday, Tommy Thompson led Democrat Tammy Baldwin in a hypothetical matchup by 5 points, a poll showed. This marks the former governor's reentry into politics.
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That was then. Pressured by at least two primary opponents with ties to the tea party movement, Thompson sought to portray himself as a hardliner. He brought in reinforcements, from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to conservative rocker Ted Nugent, to vouch for his conservative credentials and to counter accusations that he was a big spender during his four terms as governor. Thompson also pledged to vote to repeal President Obama's health-care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.Skip to next paragraph
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“We have always in America, ladies and gentlemen, promised our children and our grandchildren that we're going to give them a country that is stronger, freer, fairer, safer, with more options than we had.… And for the first time, ladies and gentlemen, for the first time, I don't think we can fulfill that promise unless we take it back,” Thompson told supporters late Tuesday following his victory.
Baldwin supports Mr. Obama’s health-care reform law. In a statement Tuesday, she said, “Thompson will stand with those who already have too much power and influence in Washington.
“Tommy Thompson would actually cut taxes for millionaires like himself while increasing taxes on the middle class, increasing out-of-pocket health care costs for seniors, increasing the cost of higher education for students and their families, and ending Medicare as we know it for future generations. That is not the America we believe in and it is not the Wisconsin we believe in,” she said.
According to a Marquette University Law School poll released Aug. 8, Thompson, of all the GOP Senate hopefuls, would do the best against Baldwin in November, 48 percent to 43 percent.
Thompson was outspent in the race, raising $2.5 million and having $352,915 cash on hand through July 25, according to The Center for Responsive Politics, an advocacy group in Washington that tracks campaign spending. Mr. Hovde had the primary’s biggest bankroll, raising $5.5 million.
Through the same period, Baldwin raised just over $7 million and has about $3 million cash on hand.
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