Filed Under: Politics

Former Rep. Ribble: Wisconsin races come down to red or blue

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Wisconsin is a battleground state during the 2022 election cycle. Voters will choose a governor’s seat open, a Senator and eight House representatives.

“In a divided state like that, I think it’s all going to come down to red or blue,” said Reid Ribble, a former republican Representative for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. He said Republicans are smart to focus on inflation during this election. 

“If you’re in rural Wisconsin can’t go gas up your pickup truck,” Ribble said. “And those things are notable people feel that and the pain of that inflation, impacts them on a daily basis. And so it’s kind of that kitchen table thing that really concerns voters, and I think Republicans are correct to lean into that.”

Ribble has publicly disapproved of views expressed by some GOP candidates and lawmakers in recent years. District 3 candidate Derrick Van Orden was at the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Ribble said he shouldn’t be able to run for the seat.

“I think it is an automatic disqualifier. I don’t think that that had anything to do with being a good American or patriot. In fact, I think it was un-American to participate in that riot,” Ribble said.

Both the Republican candidates for governor and Senate have been endorsed by former President Trump. Ribble said if they win, he hopes they don’t follow his “populist” lead.

“I would hope that Senator Johnson or any of the Republicans in the House of Representatives that are going to win, and if Tim Michaels is successful in getting the governor’s mansion, that they fall back to a more traditional limited government approach to to governing the country and governing the state,” Ribble said. “I think that that would be that would be good for the country.”

SHANNON LONGWORTH: WISCONSIN IS, OF COURSE, ONE OF THE BATTLEGROUND STATES WE’RE FOCUSING ON DURING THIS ELECTION CYCLE. IT NOT ONLY HAS A GOVERNOR SEAT OPEN BUT ALSO A SENATE SEAT AND EIGHTH HOUSE SEATS.

REID RIBBLE, IS A FORMER REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE FOR WISCONSIN’S EIGHTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. HE’S JOINED US TO PROVIDE SOME INSIGHT. REPRESENTATIVE VERBAL, WE’RE JUST A FEW DAYS OUT FROM ELECTION DAY, OF COURSE, OBVIOUSLY, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MOST NOTABLE ABOUT WHAT WE’RE SEEING IN WISCONSIN?

ARE YOU SURPRISED BY ANY POLLING NUMBERS OR CHANGES IN MESSAGING?

REP. REID RIBBLE: NOW, YOU KNOW, NOT REALLY, THE MESSAGING THE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO USE TO DO WHAT THEY THEY WOULD SEE GOING ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT’S THE NATIONALISED OF THE ELECTION, WHETHER THEY’RE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR, STATE ASSEMBLY, STATE SENATOR RUNNING FOR US SENATE OR HOUSE, THE MORE YOU CAN NATIONALIZE IT AND FOCUS ON THINGS LIKE INFLATION AND THE ECONOMIC CONDITION OF THE COUNTRY. THEY FEEL THAT THEY IMPROVE THEIR CHANCES. SO I DON’T REALLY SEE ANYTHING DIFFERENT THAN I EXPECTED. AND BUT THE STATE THE STATE’S HEAVILY DIVIDED BETWEEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, AND ALSO URBAN AND RURAL.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT NATIONALIZING THAT MESSAGING, ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT INFLATION, IS THAT THE KEY THING THAT REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE TO THEIR VOTERS?

REP. REID RIBBLE: OF COURSE, I MEAN, AND IT’S IN EVERYBODY’S FACE, I MEAN, YOU CAN’T GO TO A GROCERY STORE, YOU CAN’T GO GAS UP YOUR CAR

IF YOU’RE IN RURAL WISCONSIN CAN’T GO GAS UP YOUR PICKUP TRUCK. AND THOSE THINGS ARE NOTABLE PEOPLE FEEL THAT AND THE PAIN OF THAT INFLATION, IMPACTS THEM ON A DAILY BASIS. AND SO IT’S KIND OF THAT KITCHEN TABLE THING THAT REALLY CONCERNS VOTERS, AND I THINK REPUBLICANS ARE CORRECT TO LEAN INTO THAT. THE DEMOCRAT MESSAGING ON ON ABORTION IS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE. AND I THINK ONE THAT THAT HELPS THEM A BIT. THAT THE MESSAGING THAT PRESIDENT BIDEN DID LAST NIGHT ON ON DEMOCRACY HELPED A LITTLE BIT. BUT IN A DIVIDED STATE LIKE THAT, I THINK IT’S ALL GOING TO COME DOWN TO RED OR BLUE.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: SO NOW, AS A REPUBLICAN, YOU’VE BEEN FAIRLY VOCAL ABOUT DISAPPROVING OF THE GOP IS MORE EXTREME ASPECTS, PARTICULARLY IN THE PAST FEW YEARS. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WISCONSIN’S REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE IN DISTRICT THREE? DEREK VAN ORDEN, WHO WAS AT THE CAPITOL ON JANUARY 6.

REP. REID RIBBLE: YEAH, I MEAN, I THINK FOR ME, PERSONALLY, AND THIS IS THIS IS JUST MY TAKE ON IT. ANYBODY WAS AT THE CAPITOL ON JANUARY 6, I THINK IS A IS AN AUTOMATIC DISQUALIFIER. I DON’T THINK THAT THAT HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH BEING A GOOD AMERICAN OR PATRIOT. IN FACT, I THINK IT WAS ON AMERICAN TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT RIOT. AND IT’S EASY TO SAY, WELL, I DIDN’T GO IN OR IT WASN’T THERE FOR THAT. BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THE MARCHING ORDERS FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP WERE TO MARCH DOWN TO THE CAPITOL AND FIGHT LIKE HELL, THOSE WERE HIS WORDS. AND THAT’S WHAT THAT CROWD DID. AND IT SHOULD OFFEND EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN, THAT THAT’S WHAT THEY DID. IF WE CANNOT TRUST OUR ELECTIONS. WE’VE GOT A REAL PROBLEM WITH WITH OUR REPUBLIC. AND SO IT’S A TRAGEDY, IN MY OPINION.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: SPEAKING OF FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP, BOTH THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR AND SENATE HAVE BEEN ENDORSED BY HIM, IF THEY WIN, WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND CONCERNS?

REP. REID RIBBLE: WELL, YOU KNOW, I MEAN, I WOULD HOPE THAT THEY THEY DO A MORE OR GOVERN IN A MORE CONSERVATIVE, TRADITIONALLY CONSERVATIVE MANNER. PRESIDENT TRUMP IS A POPULIST, HE’S NOT A CONSERVATIVE, AND I THINK IT’S, IT WAS DEMONSTRATED BY HIS LEAN TOWARD AUTHORITARIANISM, HIS LEAN BY USING BIG GOVERNMENT WHENEVER HE WANTED TO HIS HIS LEAN TOWARD DEFICIT SPENDING. THERE WERE THERE WERE THINGS THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S POLICIES THAT WOULD MAKE BERNIE SANDERS HAPPY. AND SO I WOULD HOPE THAT SENATOR JOHNSON ANY OF THE REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THAT ARE GOING TO WIN, AND AND IF TIM MICHAELS IS SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION, THAT THEY THEY FALL BACK TO A MORE TRADITIONAL LIMITED GOVERNMENT APPROACH TO TO GOVERNING THE COUNTRY AND GOVERNING THE STATE. AND I THINK THAT THAT WOULD BE THAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: HOW CONFIDENT ARE YOU IN TODAY’S VERSION OF THE GOP? IS IT WHAT YOU THINK PEOPLE IN WISCONSIN NEED?

REP. REID RIBBLE: YOU KNOW, I THINK, FOR THE MOST PART, OUR CIVIL SERVANTS ARE THERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. I DO THINK THAT THIS WAVE OF POPULISM THAT OVERTOOK THE COUNTRY BACK IN 2016 IS IS A THREAT TO HOW WE GOVERN OURSELVES AND IN A FREE SOCIETY. I’M ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT THE THE INCREASE IN INFLAMMATORY RHETORIC. I THOUGHT CIVIL DISCOURSE WAS BAD WHEN I WAS IN CONGRESS, BUT THIS HAS REALLY GOTTEN BAD AND AND PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWING TRUMP’S LEAD, BECAUSE VOTERS WILL TELL THEM WE WANT SOMEONE WHO’S GOING TO FIGHT FOR US. AND INSTEAD, WHAT I WANT IS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND STATE ASSEMBLY AND SENATE AND GOVERNOR. NOT NECESSARILY TO FIGHT FOR ME, BUT TO ACTUALLY GOVERN IN A MANNER THAT IN A FREE SOCIETY ALLOWS GOVERNMENT OF BY AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE OTHER REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES IN STATES LIKE PENNSYLVANIA AND GEORGIA, OTHER BATTLEGROUNDS? LIKE CANDIDATE SEMINARS OR HERSCHEL WALKER?

REP. REID RIBBLE: YEAH, I THINK THAT DONALD TRUMP WAS NOT PARTICULARLY GOOD AT SELECTING SOME OF THESE CANDIDATES THAT HE ENDORSED. SO YOU TAKE TAKE THE THE RACE IN PENNSYLVANIA, I THINK IT’S A REALLY GOOD LITMUS TEST, AND YOU HAVE AN INVERSION IN GEORGIA. AND BY THAT I MEAN THIS. THE CANDIDATE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP ENDORSED FOR GOVERNOR IN PENNSYLVANIA IS SO BAD, AND SO OFFENSIVE TO BOTH THE LEFT AND INDEPENDENT VOTERS THAT HE’S LIKELY TO GET TROUNCED. AND SO YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A NEW DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR IN IN PENNSYLVANIA AND THE STRENGTH OF HIS CAMPAIGN AND THE STRENGTH HAVEN’T BEEN AT THE TOP OF THAT TICKET IS LIKELY TO PULL THE DEMOCRAT SENATE NOMINEE FETTERMAN OVER THE FINISH LINE. AND WILL THERE’LL BE A FLIP OF A SEAT THERE? THE INVERSE? IS IT TRUE IN GEORGIA, GOVERNOR KEMP IS DOING SO WELL, THAT HE’S LIKELY TO PULL WALKER HERSCHEL WALKER OVER THE FINISH LINE IN GEORGIA, WHICH WOULD BE A FLIP OF A SEAT THE OTHER DIRECTION. AND SO THAT THERE’S FOR THE TOP OF THE TICKET REALLY MATTERS AND IT’S QUITE IRONIC IN GEORGIA CAMP WHO DID NOT GET TRUMP’S ENDORSEMENT IS LIKELY TO BE THE VERY THING THAT PULLS TRUMP’S ENDORSE CANDIDATE OVER THE FINISH LINE.

SHANNON: OKAY, WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PERSPECTIVE AND FOR TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH US TODAY. WE APPRECIATE YOU BEING HERE.

REP. REID RIBBLE: IT’S GOOD TO BE WITH SHANNON. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

TRANSCRIPT CREATED AUTOMATICALLY 

Wisconsin is a battleground state during the 2022 election cycle. Voters will choose a governor’s seat open, a Senator and eight House representatives.

“In a divided state like that, I think it’s all going to come down to red or blue,” said Reid Ribble, a former republican Representative for Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. He said Republicans are smart to focus on inflation during this election. 

“If you’re in rural Wisconsin can’t go gas up your pickup truck,” Ribble said. “And those things are notable people feel that and the pain of that inflation, impacts them on a daily basis. And so it’s kind of that kitchen table thing that really concerns voters, and I think Republicans are correct to lean into that.”

Ribble has publicly disapproved of views expressed by some GOP candidates and lawmakers in recent years. District 3 candidate Derrick Van Orden was at the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Ribble said he shouldn’t be able to run for the seat.

“I think it is an automatic disqualifier. I don’t think that that had anything to do with being a good American or patriot. In fact, I think it was un-American to participate in that riot,” Ribble said.

Both the Republican candidates for governor and Senate have been endorsed by former President Trump. Ribble said if they win, he hopes they don’t follow his “populist” lead.

“I would hope that Senator Johnson or any of the Republicans in the House of Representatives that are going to win, and if Tim Michaels is successful in getting the governor’s mansion, that they fall back to a more traditional limited government approach to to governing the country and governing the state,” Ribble said. “I think that that would be that would be good for the country.”

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