GOP U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman and Bryan Steil warned GOP activists Dems are going to bring their “crazy” to Milwaukee next year with their national convention and urged Republicans to help President Trump win re-election.
The decision to bring the convention to Milwaukee was seen by many as partly motivated by a desire to win back Wisconsin after Trump became the first Republican since 1984 to win the state.
The congressmen, speaking as part of a panel discussion, told delegates the decision would have the opposite effect.
Duffy, R-Wausau, reminded the crowd of the protests in the state Capitol over Act 10, saying voters were turned off by those images. Likewise, he said Milwaukee could look like Chicago in 1968, when protests and the police response to them marred the Democratic National Convention.
Duffy said he expects a brokered convention, predicting Bernie Sanders supporters likely weren’t going to go quietly if the nomination went to Joe Biden.
“They’re going to bring their crazy to the doorstep of Wisconsin, and we’re all going to see how nuts they are,” Duffy said.
Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, urged Republicans to “point out how crazy the Democrats are” every chance they get, saying it would help Trump’s re-election chances.
“If you look every day, one of their 23 candidate is selling something crazy and almost never do the other 22 candidates say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s too far,’” Grothman said.
They also got in several jabs at Dems over opposing the president’s call for a wall along the southern border, pointing out they will have a security perimeter around the convention and only those with a ticket will be allowed in. Several knocks were also sent Hillary Clinton’s way after she failed to visit Wisconsin between the April 2016 primary and the November general election.
“By default, the Democratic nominee will have to visit the state of Wisconsin” by having the convention here, said Steil, R-Janesville.
The three also praised Trump, saying he has a remarkable ability to go around the media to communicate directly with voters. Grothman said he’s never seen a politician who inspires the base more than Trump, who he said presents some “unique opportunities and challenges.” He didn’t offer specifics on the latter, though he said, “It’s got to be from our perspective a very issue-oriented campaign.”
They also acknowledged the challenges facing Wisconsin farmers amid a burgeoning trade war with China.
Duffy said he believes if Trump can push through his proposed changes to trade deals, it would make a significant difference for them.
While saying he’s not big on tariffs or subsidies, Duffy touted his United States Reciprocal Trade Act. It would give the president broad authority to unilaterally raise tariffs on specific products in response to barriers other countries place on Ameican products being imported there.
Duffy said other countries often target the agricultural industry to hurt the U.S. in trade negotiations. He said the money the U.S. is now collecting from increased tariffs on imports from places such as China should be given to farmers to help them survive the ongoing tumult.
“That’s how they get us to fold,” Duffy said. “We always call uncle because they go after our agriculture.”