[Waukesha, Wis.] — In case you missed it, Tim Michels took a sharp turn by flip-flopping on his position about negative ads and launching a false attack ad on Rebecca Kleefisch during the final days of his campaign, an act Michels himself called a sign of “desperation.”
“Wisconsin can’t trust Tim Michels. If he’ll repeatedly flip-flop on positions in less than 24 hours, how can voters trust he’ll remain committed to following through on conservative values? Michels clearly realizes that Rebecca Kleefisch has all the momentum going into election day,” said Alec Zimmerman, Rebecca for Governor spokesman.
Read excerpts of the AP story below or read the full story here.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Days after saying that running negative ads is “just bad policy” and that politicians who do it are “losing,” the Wisconsin Republican candidate for governor backed by Donald Trump has launched his first attack ad against his primary opponent.
Tim Michels launched the ad this week, a blistering attack against Rebecca Kleefisch that faults her not backing Trump in 2016 and brands her as “the ultimate Madison insider.” Kleefisch, who is backed by former Vice President Mike Pence, is a former two-term lieutenant governor.
The Michels ad, circulated Thursday by the Democratic Governors Association, began airing earlier this week, after Michels said in a televised town hall that “I’ve never had a negative ad run by my campaign in this race.
“And the reason is we’ve never had a single piece of business by talking bad about the competition,” said Michels, who co-owns energy and pipeline construction company Michels Corp. “And the reason is, it’s just bad policy, and if you get a reputation of doing that in my industry … people immediately disrespect you.”
That wasn’t the first time Michels took a stand against negative ads. Back in July, after Kleefisch launched the first in a series of attack ads against Michels, he came out strongly against it.
“When politicians are shocked to find themselves losing, they go negative out of desperation,” Michels said on July 6. “So it is sad that the former Lieutenant Governor has decided to go negative by falling in line with politics as usual.”
The attack ad comes amid a blitz toward the election, with Pence campaigning Wednesday for Kleefisch, calling her a “proven conservative.” Kleefisch served as lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Scott Walker and has amassed endorsements from Walker, legislative leaders, dozens of Republican lawmakers and others.
Michels’ position on Trump also shifted this week. On Monday, at the town hall, he refused to commit to backing Trump if he ran for president in 2024. But less than 24 hours later, Michels reversed himself.
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