Fmr. Gov. Thompson lists winners, takeaways of Republican debate

Gov. Thompson is the longest-serving governor in Wisconsin history.
Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 11:55 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson believes it’s any candidate’s game when it comes to beating President Joe Biden, but said voters are unsure about former President Donald Trump.

“I think people are concerned about whether or not whether Trump can beat Biden,” Thompson said. “I think he’s the one Republican that people still have somewhat of a question as to whether he could defeat Biden. The other candidates I have no doubt can defeat Biden. But Donald Trump had a good night tonight by not being here.”

Thompson said for candidates to have a good performance, they have to address the topics voters want to hear about and how the candidate, as president, would help them and their family. Topics he listed included inflation, the border, international relations and the economy.

Thompson said one of the winners of Wednesday night is DeSantis.

“He looked out and did what I think is important is talk about the future,” Thompson said.

Thompson said former Vice President Mike Pence had the best night he had ever heard him in a debate.

“He was on fire, and he had good questions thrown at him as to about the Constitution,” Thompson said.

Thompson thought tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy had a good night.

“Vivek had energy and excitement,” he said. “People like young people with energy and that came through loud and clear.”

Thompson talked about the importance of winning Wisconsin in the upcoming election.

“You can’t be president without Wisconsin,” Thompson said.

Thompson suggested Republican voters get involved and read up on the candidates to find out which one of them shares common values.

“Nikki Haley had a great night on abortion,” Thompson said. “People should take that into consideration.”

When asked if former President Donald Trump should’ve been at the debate Wednesday night, Thompson gave a firm “no.”

“Trump won by not being here,” Thompson said. “Nobody laid a hand on him, and he didn’t have to take any cheap shots or anything.”

The debate was held at the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee.

Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.