U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, said he doesn’t trust the Democrats’ version of President Trump’s reported vulgar comments about African nations during a meeting on immigration.
“I’m not sure exactly what was said,” Grothman said Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“I’ve always felt (Illinois U.S. Sen.) Dick Durbin is about the most partisan Democrat up there,” Grothman said.
Trump’s words, reported Thursday, caused a huge controversy and were relayed by Durbin — who attended the meeting — and several others familiar with it.
“I wouldn’t trust Dick Durbin not to embellish, OK? Donald Trump has put out tweets on his own saying he’s concerned about taking people from high-crime countries, and that’s a reasonable concern. But I wouldn’t take everything Dick Durbin says as gospel either,” Grothman said.
“I think maybe (Trump) was alluding to the fact that if we have a country that’s a difficult situation right now, we don’t have to take unlimited groups of people from a country like that,” he said.
Grothman said he didn’t think Trump’s reported comments would derail any deal on DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — and that members of Congress were briefed on a possible deal for the so-called dreamers last week.
With a deadline approaching on continued government funding, Grothman said it would be “incredibly irresponsible” for Democrats to force a shutdown over DACA or any other issue. He added that he did not think the American people would support a partial shutdown.
Grothman also raised the possibility of Congress tackling welfare reform, although he said there are rumors that “the Senate wants to set it aside.”
“Once the glare of public opinion gets on the Senate, I can’t believe Mitch McConnel won’t cave in and do something!” Grothman said.
Grothman also said he felt good about the state of his bid for re-election in November. He’ll face Democrat Dan Kohl in the 6th Congressional District. Grothman called Kohl a well-connected fundraiser in Washington.
“I think I fit the district,” Grothman said.
Also on the show, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said he will focus on a goal of raising $20 million in his campaign for governor, which he says would make him competitive statewide.
Soglin outlined a path to victory.
“What we’ve got to do is, obviously, generate the largest base, large turnouts, large pluralities, in Milwaukee and Dane County,” Soglin said.
“Then we have to run even in the other urban areas of the state, and then be really respectable in the Milwaukee suburbs, and in the northern, more rural areas of the state,” he said.
Gousha asked Soglin about the multiple jabs Republican incumbent Gov. Scott Walker has made against Soglin on Twitter.
“Obviously he’s concerned,” Soglin said, adding that Walker is trying to energize his own base and is “using the attacks on me” to raise money.
But he also said Walker is making a “miscalculation.”
“He’s raising issues he’s terribly vulnerable on, public safety and crime,” Soglin said. “He’s very vulnerable on his record in regards to the economy. So, we’ll see how this plays out over the next year.”
In another segment, Racine Mayor Cory Mason said he and others are looking at the experiences of other communities that have had large corporations come to town, as they prepare for Foxconn.
Foxconn plans to build a massive liquid crystal display panel plant in the village of Mount Pleasant in Racine County. The plant is expected to employ 3,000 people to start, and possibly up to 13,000 down the road.
Foxconn presents “all these opportunities, but all these challenges,” Mason said.
“So what we’ve been doing is trying to get smart about what other communities who had similar experiences have gone through, and what’s gone well, and what the downfalls can be if you don’t plan for what might be coming,” he said.
He said specific communities they have looked at include Reno, Nev., which landed a large Tesla battery factory, and Greenville, S.C., which won a large BMW plant.
He said Racine-area officials were encouraged to have a faster permitting process for housing and to make parking available for construction workers who would come to town and live in recreational vehicles.
“You have to have a plan is the long and the short of it,” Mason said.
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