For many states, primary season is “Tell us how you really feel” season.
And Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Leah Vukmir feels she’s on “Team America,” while Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is on “Team Terrorist.”
Vukmir, a state senator, sought to cash in politically with a Twitter ad this week on a confirmation debate in the Senate for the next Central Intelligence Agency director, aligning herself with CIA nominee Gina Haspel on “Team America.”
On the other side? “Team Terrorist,” with Baldwin and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Senator Baldwin would rather give the man behind the 9/11 attacks and other terrorists hugs and safe spaces than take adequate action to protect America and confirm Gina Haspel quickly. Unacceptable. #wisen https://t.co/njYuI94GHA pic.twitter.com/sCTCDpIvZs— Leah Vukmir (@LeahVukmir) May 9, 2018
Baldwin, Vukmir said in a statement this week, would “rather give the man behind the 9/11 attacks and other terrorists hugs and safe spaces than take adequate action to protect America and confirm Gina Haspel quickly.”
Her top opponent for the Republican nomination to square off against Baldwin, Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson, quickly decried Vukmir for the tweet.
“It’s a fundamentally unserious critique of the Senator. ... It’s embarrassing,” Nicholson told a local radio station.
“I fought terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know what a terrorist is. I’ve seen them. It is not a word I use lightly,” he said. “Nobody should use that word lightly.”
But Nicholson has also taken his lumps recently for questioning the mental faculties of armed forces veterans who are also Democrats.
“Those veterans that are out there in the Democrat Party, I question their, their cognitive thought process. Because the bottom line is, they’re signing up to defend the Constitution that their party is continually dragging through the mud,” he said in a segment on the same radio station last week.
Nicholson has not walked back his comments, even after Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who lost her leg in Iraq as an Army helicopter pilot, and 28 other Democratic veterans wrote a letter requesting an apology.
“I’ll never apologize for saying that, ever,” Nicholson wrote in an email to his supporters last week.
The Wisconsin Republican Party will choose who to endorse at its state convention on Saturday, though the primary is not until August 14.
Watch: Haspel’s Confirmation Hearing Felt Like Deja Vu