Priebus warns against internal rifts

The head of Wisconsin’s Republican Party cautioned against internal squabbles Thursday, following a contentious primary in a state where the GOP sees a chance to take control of the governor’s office and also pick up a U.S. Senate seat.

The Republican candidates, Scott Walker in the governor’s race and Ron Johnson in the Senate race, pledged at a party brunch to reach out to the supporters of their defeated rivals.

Republicans are eyeing U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold’s seat as one of the 10 needed to pick up to win back a majority in the Senate. And the governor’s office, which has been under Democratic control the past eight years, is wide open for the first time in 28 years.

Reflecting Wisconsin’s importance in the national landscape, the meeting was also attended by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, head of the Republican Governors Association. The RGA has already spent more than $1 million on television ads supporting Walker and targeting his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

“There’s too much to lose if the Democrats and the status quo remain in power,” state Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said at a news conference, “and we can’t risk that by shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Feingold didn’t have a primary opponent and Barrett faced token opposition, allowing both to save resources and remain focused on Nov. 2.

The GOP candidates’ main primary challengers, former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann in the governor’s race and businessman Dave Westlake in the Senate race, have endorsed their victorious opponents in the general election and were at the brunch.

Barbour said Walker and Johnson are strong, popular candidates in a state ready for change. He also said he expected tea party members to rally around the Republican party because both groups care about the same issues — the economy, job creation and excessive spending. (Source: Post Crescent)

Reince is correct in saying now isn’t the time for rifts.  However at the same time supporters of candidates that lost in the primary supported those candidates for a reason.  Should those supporters be expected to just blindly follow the winning candidate?  Should those supporters vote for the primary winner without their questions about that candidate being adequately answered?

From what I’ve seen at least one GOP primary winner has a great deal of work to do in convincing supporters of his primary opponent that he deserves their support come November 2.

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3 thoughts on “Priebus warns against internal rifts

  1. Finally, we are on the same page. As if Preibus will ever entertain rifts in-between elections. I will vote for Johnson just to rid Feingold, but I will ALWAYS think that he is politically stupid as can be.

  2. The question is will voters blindly vote for an unknown that isn’t specific on the issues in the general? Early indications are yes but I still have a bad feeling about the decision to blindly follow in the primary.

    I hope Johnson proves he has substance though at this point …

  3. Pingback: Wisconsin GOP Chairman Priebus calls for Obama’s execution!!! | The Fifth Column

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