A little over a week ago Fox 6 Milwaukee asked me why Donald Trump was coming back to Wisconsin when he was down seven points:
“Well he can’t win. But this isn’t about winning. This is about coming to Wisconsin and thumb his nose at Paul Ryan,” said Brian Fraley, a Republican strategist who is a Ryan supporter and has been outspoken against Trump.
Sure enough the other night at Trump’s rally in Green Bay, supporters chanted “Paul Ryan Sucks!” while Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Brad Courtney stood on stage flustered. Courtney later put out a statement reaffirming the party’s support of Ryan. As I have said before, picking a fight with the most popular elected Republican in Wisconsin is just one of the thousands of stupid things Trump has done in the last six months.
Last night Fox 6 ran another story and wanted my take on where this puts the speaker now and for the future.
“There has to be tremendous anguish going on there, and a lot of conflict,” said Brian Fraley, GOP strategist. Fraley, a Ryan supporter who is outspoken against Trump, says the speaker is in a tough spot.
“When you have this kind of cult of personality, where does someone that’s an ideological thought leader and a proven conservative like Paul Ryan — how does he work with that?” Fraley said.
Paul Ryan hasn’t commented on the chants but numerous Wisconsin conservatives spoke out in support of him including the governor. You can watch the full Fox 6 story here.
It is true. For Wisconsin Republicans, this fall presents a binary choice.
I choose the party of Paul Ryan over the cult of Donald Trump.
Trump can’t win here. He only came to Green Bay to thumb his nose at Paul Ryan. It’s a sign of an insecure person. A bully.
Meanwhile, I spent the weekend in Ohio. Clearly, Trump’s grip on that state is in jeopardy. But he’s 7 points down here. Smart campaign, one driven by facts, not emotions, would focus attention on OH, NC and FL not Wisconsin. But then he wouldn’t get to feel good by having some goons chant ‘Paul Ryan sucks’ in Wisconsin. (Irony alert: If you go to a GOP election rally in Wisconsin and chant that towards the most popular Republican elected official in the state, it is YOU who is the actual RINO). More…
Veteran journalist Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called me last week for my take on what Trump has done to the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
Its leading Republicans are in limbo, rendered mostly mute about Trump amid mounting allegations over his treatment of women. They aren’t recanting their support for their nominee. But they aren’t defending him or campaigning with him, either. The state’s top GOP officials will be absent when Trump holds a rally in Green Bay Monday.
….But while Ryan has angered hard-core Trump backers, “a lot of Trump’s most ardent supporters in Wisconsin never were (staunch) Republicans,” said Brian Fraley, a Trump critic who once served as the state GOP’s political director.
“There is going to be a lot of long-term shakeout with this no matter who wins, and no matter how large the defeat is,” said Fraley, who said he hasn’t given money to the party because he doesn’t want any of it to help elect Trump.
Well, it’s a time for choosing.
When I cast my vote for President, I will be voting for a conservative Republican whose agenda I believe in, whose commitment to liberty is beyond doubt and whose grasp of the issues and ability to work with GOP House and Senate members would serve the party and more importantly America, well.
I am not ‘done’ with the Republican Party. Rather, I remain committed to the Party of Lincoln. And Reagan. And Thompson. And Walker. And Schimel. And Vukmir. And Kooyenga. And Hutton. And, me.
The most important race for Wisconsin conservatives and moderates this fall is the re-election of GOP United States Senator Ron Johnson. But when it comes to the Presidency, the GOP’s official nominee is so woefully deficient, I’ve looked elsewhere.
And I was #NeverHillary decades before I was #NeverTrump.
Fortunately, I do not have to settle for the lesser of two evils. More…
Late Friday night I got a call from Mike Gousha’s producer asking if I could come on a special taping of a segment for UpFront the next morning. I was asked to to give perspective on Trump’s campaign imploding Access Hollywood tape. The Cap Times also put together a story on my comments from the show…
Donald Trump’s chances to win Wisconsin in the November presidential election were decimated when footage of lewd comments he made about women surfaced on Friday, a conservative analyst said.
Brian Fraley, who runs the political consulting firm Edge Messaging and has worked on a number of Republican campaigns, said in an interview on “UpFront with Mike Gousha” that the video will cost Trump Wisconsin, a state that was previously within his reach.
“He’s done,” Fraley said.
In the video, Trump brags about being able to use his celebrity status to kiss and grope women. But those comments probably won’t cause many of his supporters to disown him, Fraley said.
“I think the erosion of Trump support both here and nationally could be minimal, because Trump being a vulgar, obnoxious misogynist is kind of unfortunately baked in the cake, right?” Fraley said.
Rather, Fraley said he thinks these comments have cost Trump the opportunity to win over undecided voters. He said Trump had a shot of winning Wisconsin, as he was performing well in the 8th, 7th, and northern parts of the 3rd congressional districts.
Here is the entire clip…
I first met Charlie Sykes more than 25 years ago when I was a Senior at the UW. He was speaking at a conference of collegiate journalists in Evanston, Illinois and as the author of ProfScam was emerging as one of the most insightful critics of higher education at the time. He was so entertaining that when I found myself organizing the next year’s conference I had to lock him in on the panel. That’s right, I put Charlie I my panel long before he put me on his!
On Tuesday, my friend Charlie announced his retirement from his weekday radio show and weekly television program. After 25 years in local broadcasting, 23 with WTMJ, he’s heading into semi-retirement. He’ll continue to write and contribute to the conservative movement, but he’ll no longer have to drag himself out of bed at 4:30 every morning.
I’ve had the honor and good fortune of working for him and even guest hosting his show on occasion over the years. I can assure you he’s not going to disappear, as much as his many critics may hope he will. At 62, he’s just taking greater control over his schedule. Kudos to him.
A full analysis of his impact on local, state and national politics is intertwined with a look at the power of the medium of talk radio in general. Along with his colleague Jeff Wagner, and local talkers Mark Belling, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna and Dan O’Donnell down the dial at WISN, Sykes has helped create and maintain an important crucible for conservative thought and news analysis in Southeast Wisconsin.
Rather than examine the medium itself, however, Sykes’ announcement affords me an opportunity to examine his unique impact on the community and causes I care deeply about. More…
As many of you have now heard, Monday the U.S. Supreme court rejected an appeal by Democratic D.A.’s John Chisholm of Milwaukee, Dane County’s Ismael Ozanne and Iowa County’s Larry Nelson to revive the egregious attack on conservatives across the state AKA the John Doe investigation. WISN 1130-AM’s Jay Weber called me early this morning to discuss my thoughts on it. You can listen to the segment here. It starts around 19:40.
I am also currently involved in a class action lawsuit the MacIver Institute has filed against Chisholm, other employees of his office, and senior staff of the now- defunct Government Accountability Board for illegally seizing MacIver’s digital records during the infamous John Doe II investigation. That includes years of my private emails and records. Read more about that here.
To be continued…
I joined Mikel Holt, Michelle Litjens and Dan Adams on Charlie Sykes’ Sunday Insight over the weekend on WTMJ-4 in Milwaukee. You can watch the full show
I had the pleasure of appearing on Fox 6 WITI and CBS 58 WDJT Milwaukee Tuesday to give my analysis of the first presidential debate. Check them out below. I talk about who I think won, missed opportunities and Trump’s visit today to Waukesha.
CBS 58 Milwaukee: Trump to Campaign in Waukesha, Focus on “WOW County” Republicans
Enough with the complaining about Lester Holt.
As someone who dislikes both candidates who were on the stage last night, I’m a good fit to analyze the first 2016 general election presidential candidate face-off.
You can always tell who lost the debate. It’s the campaign that whines about the moderator. Lester Holt did a pretty good job as the moderator. Keeping Trump’s erratic behavior in check is a lot like herding cats. Some Trump supporters are upset that Holt interrupted Trump more than Holt interrupted Clinton. But Trump is a bully in life and that includes on the debate stage. He was constantly interrupting and interjecting during Clinton’s answers. That’s his right. But, I think Holt provided a nice check on that. Holt sat back at times and let the candidates debate back and forth, which was a smart thing to do and takes a lot of self discipline.
I do think the one glaring omission was not asking her about the Clinton Foundation and what that says about her ethics and her decision making. However, it’s not fair to blame Holt for all the missed opportunities Trump let fly by as he was instead obsessed with defending just how wealthy he was, and defending Russia against claims of cyber espionage. Trump had several missed opportunities. You could tell he didn’t prepare; and, throughout the night, Trump’s thin-skin got the best of him. More…