Former Vice President Mike Pence praised GOP guv candidate Rebecca Kleefisch’s credentials, calling the former lieutenant guv a “proven conservative” who has stood up for Wisconsinites.
Pence made the comments during a roundtable discussion Wednesday with law enforcement in Pewaukee alongside Kleefisch and former Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
“When Rebecca asked if I would come in and campaign for her in the waning days of this primary, I said ‘yes’ in a heartbeat,” Pence said. “There is no candidate for governor in America who is more capable, more experienced, or a more proven conservative than Rebecca Kleefisch.”
Both the former Indiana guv and Scott Walker have endorsed Kleefisch. Construction exec Tim Michels, who is also running in the GOP guv primary, is endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Trump was set to hold a rally for Michels in Waukesha on Friday.
Scott Walker during the event praised Kleefisch for prioritizing public safety in the state.
“There’s a lot of people who talk — particularly come election time — about law enforcement, and then there are others who’ve actually stood with them even in the darkest and most trying of times,” the former guv said.
Michels’ senior adviser Christopher Walker said the race is about who can beat Dem Gov. Tony Evers.
“Tim Michels is the political outsider and the candidate with the coalition and resources to win next week and again in November,” Christopher Walker said.
Scott Walker slammed Evers for his response to protests in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in 2020. He criticized both Evers and President Joe Biden for “piling on” to the defund-the-police movement, instead of supporting law enforcement. Biden has said repeatedly he is not for defunding the police.
“They were wrong. Rebecca Kleefisch then, as she has been before and will be as your governor, was out front on the right side of the issue,” he said.
Kleefisch touted her endorsements from law enforcement officials, repeating her plans to fire Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm, put 1,000 more cops on the streets and make changes to bail and sentencing policies if elected.
“Sadly, under the weak and failed leadership of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsinites, families like my own, families like Scott’s — they’re less safe, and we’ve got to turn things around,” Kleefisch said.
Hannah Menchhoff, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokeswoman, told WisPolitics.com Pence’s visit is proof that Kleefisch is “radical and wrong for Wisconsin.”
“After years of local funding cuts under the Walker-Kleefisch administration, communities were left struggling to pay for critical services like law enforcement, fire departments, first responders, and more,” Menchhoff said. “Rebecca Kleefisch’s radical agenda to defund localities will hurt our state and make our communities less safe.”
Later Wednesday, Kleefisch held campaign events with Walker and U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, at the Wisconsin Valley Fair in Wausau and Al-Gen Dinner Club in Rhinelander.