Vukmir Plans to Make Baldwin Pay for Medicare for All Support

Wisconsin Republican releases her playbook on defeating Tammy Baldwin

Tammy Baldwin
Tammy Baldwin / Getty Images
August 15, 2018

Leah Vukmir came out victorious Tuesday night from one of the more hotly contested Republican primaries of the year in Wisconsin, and now plans to unseat incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D.) by focusing on her support for Medicare for All, according to a campaign memo released Wednesday morning.

Vukmir, a pediatric nurse turned state legislator and close ally of Gov. Scott Walker (R.), plans to cast Baldwin as a "far left liberal," according to the "messaging preview" her campaign released following her primary victory.

Vukmir's campaign says its three main focuses will be on Baldwin's stated support for government takeover of healthcare, her vote for the Iran nuclear deal, and her vote against the Republican tax cuts.

The campaign says that Baldwin's early spending in the race before she even had an opponent is evidence that she thinks she's vulnerable.

"Senator Baldwin has been sounding the alarms in Washington for months about her campaign, and has already spent $5 million on television because she knows that her record in the Senate, which includes standing with socialist Bernie Sanders in support of a $36 trillion takeover of healthcare, supporting the Iran Nuclear Deal, and fiercely opposing tax reform is out of step with Wisconsin," the campaign writes in its memo.

Baldwin was one of 16 senators who came out in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) Medicare for All plan, and she was the only one of the senators facing a serious reelection fight in 2018.

The memo further argues that Baldwin's likely playbook against Vukmir will be ineffective, pointing out that she has already withstood "$10 million in outside spending maligning her record" during the primary. It also snuck in a dig at the Minnesota Vikings and their four Super Bowl losses, a popular tactic in Wisconsin.

"They will argue that Leah is too extreme for Wisconsin and that Leah’s 'not for us,' but Wisconsin has seen these attacks before and they are about as effective as the Vikings are in a Super Bowl," the memo writes.

Vukmir has been in the Wisconsin state legislature since 2002, when she took over a state assembly seat vacated by Gov. Scott Walker.