A Weekly Roundup of the Hot Mess That Is the Republican Primary for Governor


MADISON, Wis.Welcome to “Knives Out”— Rebecca Kleefisch’s favorite phrase and a weekly roundup of the infighting between the radical Republicans running for Wisconsin governor.


The GOP is locked in a heated and brutal primary for governor, where Rebecca Kleefisch, Kevin Nicholson, and Tim Ramthun are trying to prove they are the most divisive candidate in the race. What’s going on in the Republican Party is so outrageous, it’s hard to keep track of all of their blunders — so we’ve got you covered:



Who Said It?

Can you guess who said the following this week?


“Democrats have cheated all the way back to Tammany Hall. This is not something brand new in an election. We have had to overcome cheating literally back to 1960, when John F. Kennedy stole the election, in my mind, from Richard Nixon.”


Scroll to the end of this newsletter for the answer.


Three’s a Crowd, Five is a Nightmare for Rebecca Kleefisch


Rebecca Kleefisch’s worst nightmare might be coming true – rumor has it, she could get two more opponents, bringing the total number of good GOP candidates for governor to zero (and her total number of primary challengers to four). Tim Michels, another self-financed businessman, is polling and former guv Tommy Thompson isn’t ruling anything out. The current GOP candidate pool must be outraged that their credentials don’t seem to be cutting it. Sad!


The possibility of several primary challengers with deep pockets is not the only thing tripping up Republicans’ campaign for governor. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this week that former President Trump — their de facto party leader — is deeply unpopular in Wisconsin. But because “the best-known Republican in the land demands fealty from his party’s candidates,” Wisconsin Republicans continue to embrace him, putting them in a tricky spot to win a general election.


Another big hurdle? Wisconsinites consistently approve of the job Gov. Evers is doing. “Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, is looking like no pushover [in polling], with popularity ratings that are better than Johnson’s [and] better than Trump’s.”


That’s because Gov. Evers is doing the right thing for Wisconsinites ✅✅✅


From One Voting Hypocrite to Another


Rebecca Kleefisch was endorsed yesterday by KT McFarland, Donald Trump’s former Deputy National Security Advisor.



Kleefisch and McFarland are two hypocrites in a pod. While they embrace Trump’s wild election conspiracy theories, both have made mistakes in the past on their own ballots.


McFarland once violated voter registration laws. For several years, McFarland was registered at two addresses in New York. New York state law makes it a felony to be registered at two addresses during the same election cycle.


Kleefisch is no stranger to hypocrisy — she has advocated for eliminating a law that she used to vote absentee in 2020.


Where Did Rebecca Kleefisch Mar-a-La GO?


Rebecca Kleefisch has been awfully quiet this week following the revelation that she went to Mar-a-Lago to beg Trump for an endorsement in a hail mary attempt to stave off any more primary challengers.


Maybe she’s waiting to see what happens when #TimTime Ramthun heads to Florida in April. Maybe she’s made another unnecessary trip to take staged pictures with a border nowhere near Wisconsin. Or maybe she’s coming up with new ways to get Trump’s attention — with Trump rescinding endorsements for candidates who refuse to go all-in on throwing out the 2020 election results, she’ll likely have to figure out how to take an even more extreme stance on voting rights.


Whatever she’s planning — it can’t be good for democracy.


“Who Said It” Answer Revealed

Sounds like Tim Ramthun right? Wrong – this new conspiracy theory actually came from Speaker Robin Vos on WSAU.


Congrats Robin! Trump will be very proud.


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