Rohn Bishop on 2020 and Wisconsin's Republican electorate

Waupun Mayor Rohn Bishop, former Republican Party of Fond du Lac County chair, discusses how many Wisconsin Republicans are preoccupied with the 2020 presidential vote and its implications for 2022.

By Zac Schultz | Here & Now

October 11, 2022

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Zac Schultz:
Give me an idea of where we are talking about 2020. How much does that still loom over everything right now?

Rohn Bishop:
On the Republican side, way too much. Even last night I attended a joint Republican party meeting between Dodge and Fondulac counties and it was a great event, but they had the person get up for five minutes and talk about election integrity. And she even made the comment, the last election was stolen from us. I have been saying rather publicly for a year and a half now that it's a midterm election with a fairly unpopular democratic incumbent President and there's economic issues, Republicans should be looking at a tidal wave election. The one way to screw it up is to keep focusing on 2020. And we keep doing that. We just can't turn the page and focus on 2022. It should still be a really good year for Republicans. The whole midterm, the history, but instead of a tidal wave, it might just be like a nice little wave of Republicans will pick up seats across the country but it won't be the kind of blowout that I think we were seeing a few months ago. And a lot of that is simply we just can't get out of our own way on 2020. Part of the problem for Republican leadership is that is where our base is. Here in Wisconsin, when Speaker Vos, who I consider myself a pretty big fan of, he did the Gableman investigation. The plan on all along was Gableman was supposed to look into that thing for six weeks, two months, show everything that happened, show that there wasn't fraud. But the other side bent the rules and used everything they could, using Covid to get many ballots to many Democratic voters. And it probably juiced the turnout on their side. Were their fraudulent votes cast, no. Were there's some shenanigans, yes, that was supposed to be the report. And then Vos comes out, we're gonna clean this up if we win in '22. Well he could never get to that point. Gableman wouldn't stop. He fell in love with the attention and Trump was saying nice things about him and he goes from working at the Home Depot to being on Fox News talking about how the election was stolen here, blind siding half the Republican legislature. So that turns into Trump endorsing Steel, the guy that ran against Vos.

Zac Schultz:
Adam Steen.

Rohn Bishop:
Adam Steen, yeah. Who runs against Robin in the primary and that thing is way closer than it should have been. But there's bipartisan problems on that too. As much as the Democrats like to talk about how they're interested in saving democracy, they're voting in our primaries for some of these kooky people to make life on our side harder. Maybe if I was in their shoes, I'd do the same thing. But don't lecture me that you're sticking up for democracy when you're voting in our primaries for the loony tune candidates. 'Cause some of us who both believe in Republican principles and America and wanna stick up for democracy and understand how elections work, we would like to win these primaries with Republicans that wanna face the future and tackle problems and not keep relitigating 2020.

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