Few supporters of President Donald Trump will ever forget the concerted #NeverTrump movement that developed during the 2016 campaign season among sanctimonious and self-righteous Republicans who couldn’t bring themselves to endorse the leading candidate-turned-nominee for their party.
One such #NeverTrump Republican in Wisconsin now claims to have always supported the president as she runs for the Senate — but her distaste for Trump was abundantly clear in 2016, when she was caught on video holding her nose as she simulated voting for the now-president.
“He’s offensive to everyone”
In video obtained by Breitbart, Leah Vukmir, who is running for the Republican nomination to face incumbent Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin in the midterm elections, stands alongside other prominent “NeverTrumpers” at a Republican women’s roundtable event in 2016.
There, she spoke of how “offensive” the then-leading GOP candidate was and signaled how she’d have to hold her nose in order to cast a vote for him against Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
She explained that her first choices were Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — but if, in the end, it came down to the highly “offensive” Trump against Clinton, she asked: “Do we really want Hillary?”
“He’s offensive to everyone,” Vukmir said at the time. “He’s offensive to women. He’s offensive to men. He’s offensive to little people. He’s offensive to fat people. He’s offensive to everyone, and I — he offends everyone.”
She went on: “So, I think ultimately if our goal as Republicans is to defeat Hillary Clinton, there are going to be a lot of people doing this –” she said as she pinched her nose, implying she would vote for him despite her great disgust.
To be fair, there were plenty of #NeverTrump Republicans who expressed their great distaste for the eventual president during the campaign season, but have since come around.
It is quite possible that Vukmir is in that number of Trump converts, even as she used to mock Trump supporters as being “Trumpkins.”
But Breitbart also learned that several top members of her senatorial campaign were also rather devout “NeverTrumpers” — at least a couple of whom seem unrepentant since the election — so there is still some question as to how much support she would offer President Trump if elected to serve the state of Wisconsin in the Senate.
Vukmir will face off against a decidedly pro-Trump Wisconsin businessman and retired Marine, Kevin Nicholson, for the Republican nomination on Aug. 14.
The winner will face off against incumbent Democrat Sen. Tammy Baldwin in November.
With that, it will be up to the voters of Wisconsin — a state Trump lost in the primary but ultimately won in the general election — to decide: Do they want someone to represent them in the Senate who wholeheartedly backs the president and his agenda?
Or do they want someone who held their nose and offered up only conditional support at a critical time in the electoral process?