Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 29, 2014

Wisconsin: Hovde, Thompson Respond To Criticism With New Ads

A busy week in Wisconsin’s GOP primary for the state’s open Senate seat concluded with new defensive ads from former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde. Thompson’s ad counters allegations that he supported President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law, while Hovde attacks former Rep. Mark Neumann, another GOP candidate, on fiscal issues.

The conservative Club for Growth unveiled an ad earlier today that attacked both Hovde and Thompson as part of a nearly $600,000 broadcast and cable buy in the Badger State. The group endorsed Neumann last September.

Thompson’s ad pushes back on claims that the former governor once supported the Affordable Care Act, an allegation that has been perpetuated by the Club for Growth and others. The ad, which a GOP operative said is part of a more than $125,000 buy, shows Thompson wearing a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle through a rural area.

“Tommy ended welfare, freeing a generation from dependency on government and Tommy will end Obamacare too. The road to repealing Obamacare runs through Wisconsin,” says the ad’s narrator. “Tommy’s a hard-driving leader who gets results, a proven winner. Tommy Thompson. The 51st vote to repeal Obamacare.”

The Hovde ad devoted most of its attention to Neumann, attacking him for voting in favor of earmarks and increasing the federal debt.

“First, Neumann viciously attacked [Gov.] Scott Walker, saying Walker has no concern for taxpayers. Ridiculous,” the narrator says. “Now negative Neumann is making false attacks against conservative businessman Eric Hovde. We’ve had enough negative Neumann.”

Hovde’s conservative credentials also received a boost with an endorsement from FreedomWorks, a political outfit dedicated to supporting conservative candidates. FreedomWorks has often endorsed the same candidates as the Club for Growth, but in this race the two groups diverged.

Roll Call rates the general election race as a Tossup.

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