Tommy Thompson, Donna Shalala Slam Partisan Politics, President’s Rhetoric

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and former UW-Madison Chancellor Donna Shalala, a Democrat, speak at an appearance in Wausau sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service. Photo by Paul Muggli

Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and former University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Donna Shalala, a Democrat, both say Wisconsin Republicans are in for trouble come November.

Both also criticized President Donald Trump’s rhetoric during a Wisconsin Public Radio talk show prior to a joint appearance in Wausau sponsored by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service.

Thompson went so far as calling Trump “a bully.”

“His policies are good I think in a lot of areas,” Thompson said. “If he would only be a little more willing to use diplomacy instead of punching you in the nose. He is somewhat of a bully.”

Shalala agreed, saying, “We can never predict what this president is going to say or do from one day to another … watching Washington is embarrassing these days.”

Thompson predicted that the Republican Party and Gov. Scott Walker could face historic losses in November’s elections.

“It reminds me of the election in 1970 when we had 55 members in the state Assembly and we went down to 33 because we lost touch with the people,” Thompson said.

Thompson added that he wasn’t surprised by Tuesday’s state Supreme Court election results, in which liberal-backed Rebecca Dallet defeated conservative-backed Michael Screnock.

“I said seven months ago that Screnock was in trouble and the Republican side was in trouble and Dallet was probably going to win. I was not a bit surprised about the election,” Thompson said. “And I think Walker and the Republicans better heed the election and they better start talking to the people.”

Shalala hopes to capitalize on a Democratic wave. She is running for Congress in the Miami,…

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