Anti-Trump GOP Group Releases Ad Featuring Wisconsin Republican Voters Saying Their Party Put Their Lives At Risk

A conservative group opposed to President Donald Trump has released a new ad warning that Republican voters in Wisconsin have lost confidence in their party's leaders after they pushed for the state's primary to go forward despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans for the Rule of Law, which was created in 2019 by the conservative political group Defending Democracy Together, released the new ad on YouTube on Tuesday. The clip will also air during the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

The video begins with news footage outlining how Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin appealed to the courts to force the state to move forward with the April 7 primary, after Democratic Governor Tony Evers attempted to postpone voting and expand state residents' ability to vote by mail. The clip then transitions to feature videos of Republican voters in Wisconsin criticizing their party's local leaders.

"Republicans in Wisconsin forced us to vote in person," a GOP voter identified as Mick says.

"They put politics above our health," claims another GOP voter from the Midwestern state, identified as Steve. Other Wisconsin Republicans featured in the video call on the government to expand voters' ability to cast their ballots by mail, an idea strongly opposed by President Donald Trump, despite having voted by mail himself.

"Our leaders should protect us, not risk our lives for their political gain," the GOP voter identified as Mick concludes.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, Carson Putnam, spokesperson for Republicans for the Rule of Law, argued that the Wisconsin GOP had "forced their constituents to weigh their health and safety against their right to vote in last week's election."

"They seem to think that voting is a privilege, not a right. And they apparently thought that holding an election during a pandemic would help their chances," Putnam added.

On its website, Republicans for the Rule of Law explains that it believes the GOP has recently strayed from its founding values. "The Republican Party was founded to ensure that the rights and liberties enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution apply equally to everyone," the webpage says.

Wisconsin primary
At the Kenosha Bible Church gym in Kenosha, Wisconsin, an election observer cleans voting booths during the Wisconsin primary on April 7. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP/Getty

"We believe in limited government and individual liberty. We believe in the same rules for everyone—from the average citizen to the president of the United States. And we believe that the character of our leaders is the destiny of our country," the website says.

Republicans for the Rule of Law has released a series of ads over the past year, many of which have directly raised concerns about Trump's leadership in the wake of the Mueller report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as the president's impeachment trial. The group has also urged Republican lawmakers in Congress to hold Trump accountable for actions it sees as counter to the Constitution.