Nicholson running an ad trying to show that Vukmir is insufficiently pro-Trump is just dishonest and insulting to Republican voters’ intelligence. Maybe Nicholson is right with this gamble. Maybe he can get away with lying about Vukmir’s record. And since his campaign is staffed by “outsiders,” none of them will pay a price for their dishonesty, including those that have also criticized Trump in 2016 like consultant Jeff Roe. He predicted the Republican Party would have to change its name if Trump was nominated.
This level of dishonesty by Nicholson calls into question his honesty about everything else he has said in the campaign. When ambition means more to a former U.S. Marine than honor, when truth is just an inconvenience, then Nicholson is not fighting “the swamp.” He’s bringing “the swamp” to Wisconsin politics, and he is a creature of the swamp’s making.
Wigderson is correct. I would add that many Conservatives really like Nicholson’s messaging and stances on the issues. They are identical to Leah Vukmir’s. The difference is that Vukmir has 20 years of proven performance in office supporting the issues important to Conservatives and Nicholson gives a good speech. I take Nicholson’s conversion from passionate liberal to passionate conservative at face value. Such a conversion often happens as people mature. But given the choice of two solid conservatives – one with a record and one without – I’m going to go with the safer choice of the one with a record. Past performance is often a great predictor of future performance. Vukmir has performed wonderfully on behalf of conservatives in the Wisconsin legislature and I expect her to do the same in the U.S. Senate.
For those who are supporting Nicholson, I understand it and I appreciate the assets that Nicholson brings to the table in a campaign against Baldwin. But Nicholson’s conservative supporters do have to take it as an article of faith that he is telling the truth about his conservatism. They have to trust him. But his recent decision to outright lie about a fellow conservative undermines that trust. If he is willing to lie about Vukmir’s record and allow his surrogates to deny her proven conservatism, is he willing to lie about being Pro-Life? Is he willing to lie about being pro-2nd Amendment? Is he willing to lie about being a fiscal hawk? Is he willing to lie… about being a conservative?
I don’t know, but his recent behavior sure introduces some doubt.