Sensenbrenner Bears Responsibility for Trump, and for Trump’s Betrayal of Republican Values

Waukesha, WI – Yesterday, we were all forced to confront Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s vile anti-woman worldview in his own words. It comes after sixteen straight months of Mr. Trump’s own graphic words describing equally vile opinions on a seemingly endless list of groups; including but not limited to disabled adults and children, veterans, pregnant women, Mexican Americans, African Americans, refugees, Muslims, and several distinct attacks on Asian American ethnicities. More than that, it comes after four decades of news stories about Donald Trump’s prejudices.

As news agencies large and small struggled to report a story so offensive that they had to censor their headlines and despaired of meeting FCC broadcast decency standards, we looked to the leadership of the Republican Party to stand up against the politics of hate. Here in Wisconsin, our dean of the National Republican Party, thirty-eight year incumbent Congressman James Sensenbrenner, did not live up to that expectation. Not long ago, Sensenbrenner bragged at a Waukesha rally of being Vice Presidential nominee Pence’s political mentor, claiming he was one of the only members of Congress in 1988 to travel to Indiana to help him become a politician. Sensenbrenner has enough influence that, when Donald Trump was challenged to provide specifics from his immigration plan, Trump’s answers were taken from a bill written and sponsored by Sensenbrenner in 2005.

This weekend, lifelong Republican voters across Southeastern Wisconsin shake with shame and anger, betrayed in all of their values by their own Party. As was the case during the Republican Primaries, Congressman Sensenbrenner was not available and did not use his years of political influence to help.

Khary Penebaker, Democratic nominee for Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District, issued the following statement:

“This is not news. These tapes were obscure, but the behavior they depict is not a surprise to my opponent or any other Republican leader. For Jim Sensenbrenner or Paul Ryan to claim that they didn’t know who Trump really was, that is an unbelievable statement. Donald Trump won the Republican Primary by welcoming misogynists and other bigots in to vote for him. They saw, they knew, they could have done something. The only thing they’re just now learning, apparently, is that they should have.”