Two former Wisconsin Republican congressmen have joined an effort to build a new coalition within the GOP built around truth-telling.

Former Green Bay-area Rep. Reid Ribble, and former Fond du Lac Congressman Tom Petri, have signed on to “A Call for American Renewal,” joining more than 150 other former Republican Party officials and independent leaders.

Ribble said the effort is aimed at bringing together center-right voters to “move the country forward, starting first and foremost by being truth-tellers.” Ribble appeared Sunday on the “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with

Ribble said the group wants “a return to founding principles, where our country started.”

“This is going to be a long play, it’s going to take time,” Ribble said. “It might not be this mid-term or even the next presidential election, but over the next decade we might be able to reshape what conservative politics looks like in this country.”

“UpFront” host Matt Smith asked Ribble about a statement from a spokesman for former President Trump, Jason Miller, calling the American Renewal group “losers” who “left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden.”

“I didn’t vote for Joe Biden, but nice for him to feel that way,” Ribble responded.

“This is part of the problem isn’t it? The reaction is, the first thing right out of the box ‘these losers.’ This is the problem. We’ve so destroyed civil discourse in this country where people with different opinions no longer speak respectfully to each other, and we hope to change that paradigm,” Ribble said.

“I’m interested in looking forward. I’m not interested in blasting President Trump or those that support him. I’m just saying here’s what we believe will create a victory in 2002, and 2024, and going forward,” Ribble said.

In another segment, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said a bill approved by the state Senate to overhaul fire and police commissions in Milwaukee and Madison is “highly partisan” and is being pushed by the Milwaukee police union.

“This is pure and simple state interference with local affairs. It’s driven by the Milwaukee Police Association, which wants to make sure that it has a hand in every disciplinary case involving one of its own members. It just is bad public policy,” Barrett said.

Barrett said he had not spoken to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers about a veto, but hoped that the bill would die in the Assembly.

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