By Andrew Thomason | Statehouse News Online
WAUKESHA — Republican candidates vying to replace U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., chose to attack the federal government and Democratic President Barack Obama instead of each other Wednesday night.
U.S. Senate hopefuls Jeff Fitzgerald, Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann and Kip Smith participated in a GOP debate hosted by the Republican Party of Waukesha County and Wisconsin Reporter.
Four-term former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson was absent. He was in Washington, D.C., for a previously scheduled fundraiser, said Don Taylor, chairman of the Republican Party of Waukesha County.
The federal government has to “stop spending more than we have coming in and we have to do this through (national) reforms,” said Fitzgerald, a state representative who is speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly.
Candidates all agreed with Fitzgerald’s view on federal spending, calling for less spending instead of new taxes to fix the federal deficit. All four candidates also called for the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the national health-care law.
“We have to scrap it all together,” said Smith, a Rhinelander physical therapist. “You cannot have half a wrong.”