GOP Senate candidates say they’ll vote against federal health care law


Thursday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling comes just a month-and-a-half before Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senate primary. It shines an even brighter light on an issue that was already a focal point in that race.

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, hedge fund manager Eric Hovde, former Congressman Mark Neumann, and former Gov. Tommy Thompson each issued statements after the ruling saying that if elected, they’ll vote to repeal the health care law.

But even though they’re ostensibly on the same page, there’s friction between the Republican candidates. Neumann has tried to own the health care issue, “Well the only one that’s been active in opposing ObamaCare from day one is myself.”

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He won’t personally criticize other candidates, but the national Club for Growth has endorsed Neumann and has relentlessly attacked Thompson for at one time supporting the type of individual mandate the court upheld.

In a conference call, Hovde leveled some of the same charges at Thompson, ”Tommy changes his mind at every convenient time that suits him.“

Thompson’s spokesman said he was unavailable for an interview. His campaign has pushed back hard against the inter-party attacks, saying Thompson opposes the mandate.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Political Science Professor Mordecai Lee says it’s an unusual situation for the four-term governor, “Right now, Tommy Thompson, who’s a master politician, is finding himself in a situation where he does not want to play defense. But clearly he’s going to be attacked.”

Whoever wins the primary will face Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, who supports the law. She said the ruling will give middle-class families access to quality, affordable health care, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.