Neumann to run for Senate
MILWAUKEE - A former congressman from Wisconsin is throwing his hat into the ring for the Senate seat being vacated by current Democratic Senator Herb Kohl.
"We are going to enter the race for the United States Senate," said Neumann on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Midday with Charlie Sykes."
Neumann lost the 2010 Republican primary for governor to the man who currently owns that job, Scott Walker.
He also lost a bid for Senate in 1998 to then-Senator Russ Feingold, a Democrat.
"(Since then,) I think the country has changed. I think it's changed dramatically," said Neumann.
"Barack Obama has continued to run the debts up in our country. He's added 40% to the debt since he took office," Neumann claimed, saying that American people have changed their desires in someone representing them.
"I think they recognize it's time for a balanced budget. I think they're looking for someone who can bring a vision of hope for this country that includes a balanced budget and job creation."
He told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Midday with Charlie Sykes" he helped draft a balanced budget plan for the federal government when he was a congressman in the 1990's.
"What we did with the debt ceiling crisis was use it as leverage to get us on a path to a balanced budget."
He says he would have voted no on the current debt ceiling bill that passed Congress, and would have demanded the budget deal before a yes vote on debt ceiling.
Former Wisconsin Republican Governor and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson has said in recent weeks that he is seriously considering a run for Senate as well.
"The Thompson team welcomes Mark Neumann to the race, and we encourage him to run a race that compliments the Republican Party by remaining focused on the failed leadership of Barack
Obama and Harry Reid," said Darrin Schmitz, a consultant to Thompson in his discernment over a potential Senate run.
"Mark Neumann should use his announcement today to tell his former employees and Washington D.C. allies he will not tolerate additional distortions of Governor Thompson's record."
"Tommy Thompson demonstrated his ability to lead by slashing taxes, creating more than 740,000 jobs, and reforming the welfare and education systems."
In response, Neumann said, "I think the entire state owes him a debt of gratitude of what he's done for this state. This race for me is about a plan to balance the federal budget and bring jobs to Wisconsin and America."
"I'll let Tommy bring his views forth in any way he wants to," he further explained when asked to elaborate on his beliefs regarding Thompson and his position on Obamacare.
"I think we should accept his word when he does present his views."
Then, he spoke about an expected Democratic candidate, Madison Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.
"I believe our opponent is Tammy Baldwin, and I believe it is essential that we bring Tammy Baldwin's record to the forefront and talk about her support of Obamacare, and the many other liberal things (she supports)."
"Those are the kind of records we need to contrast."
Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Graeme Zielinski made that contrast, and went into Neumann losing previous recent political races, in giving his comments.
"I think Wisconsin voters have rejected Mark Neumann several times before, not because they don't know about his tea party ideas, but because they do," said Zielinski.
"He's an extremeist who is hearing a calling from a very small segment of the population, right-wing talk show hosts and tea-party activists. We know he doesn't really have the solutions to create jobs and make things better for the middle class."
Zielinski did explain that he expected a Democrat to make a formal announcement in a short time about running for Kohl's seat.
"I think it will be soon," Zielinski told us.
"In fact, to be frank, I thought we'd hear something by now. Things are starting to bubble both on our side and on their sides. I think you'll have a pretty strong debate going into next year."
Newsradio 620 WTMJ has requested comment on these recent developments from Tammy Baldwin's campaign office. At the time Neumann announced, she had not officially declared her candidacy for the Senate.