Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) isn't even a Senate candidate yet, but he's absorbed his share of blows the last 24 hours. Add the Club for Growth, a group committed to fiscally conservative principles, to the list of groups and people going after the former governor.
"Tommy Thompson raised taxes as Governor, supported ObamaCare, and now he wants to run for the United States Senate? April Fools was weeks ago," said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a scathing statement Wednesday. "Wisconsin Republicans should recruit a pro-growth conservative to run, not recall some big-government pro-tax Republican whose time has come and gone. Club members are watching Wisconsin's Senate race closely."
Thompson expressed support in 2009 for an early version of the Democratic health care reform measure in the Senate that later passed -- a story that made the rounds in the national media Tuesday. Democrats have even gone on the record to praise Thompson, a move aimed squarely at undermining his credibility in a Republican primary.
Thompson is considering a run for retiring-Sen. Herb Kohl's (D) seat strong consideration. Despite strong buzz Tuesday that a Senate announcement could be imminent, Thompson never made one and was traveling to Japan. Despite his flaws, he is well-known in the state and would be an early front-runner if he runs. The early attacks he's been forced to absorb are a testament to the threat many perceive he would present.
As Hotline On Call reported Tuesday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn were both lukewarm in their appraisal of a prospective Thompson candidacy.
Earlier this year, the Club also took a preemptive swipe at Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.), who at the time was considering a Senate run. He's since launched a bid.