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Bernie Sanders hits President Trump on Wisconsin economy in state-based web-only campaign ad

Posted: 3:25 PM, May 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-17 19:37:24-04
president trump and sen. bernie sanders

Bernie Sanders is going digital.

The Democratic presidential candidate has just released a Wisconsin-based web-only campaign ad for the first time. Sanders is specifically hitting President Trump on the Badger State's economy.

But Vice President Mike Pence, who was in Eau Claire on Thursday, says the economy is roaring.

Sanders claims in a new digital campaign ad that Trump has not delivered in Wisconsin when it comes to the economy.

"Trump betrayed the voters of Wisconsin. Trump is 100% behind stealing tax dollars from the middle class to give to large corporations for empty promises," said Sanders supporter Scott Cech in Greenville.

The three-minute digital spot, titled "Betrayed," targets voters in Wisconsin and blames Trump's tax policies for layoffs at Kimberly-Clark as well as Shopko's bankruptcy.

"Our message is clear: Donald Trump betrayed workers of Wisconsin," said Bill Neidhardt, Sanders' Midwest press secretary.

Sanders carried 71 of 72 counties in the 2016 Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary but faces a far more crowded field in 2020 trying to take on Trump.

The Vermont senator campaigned in Wisconsin in April, but this is his first digital ad here.

"For Trump and his Mar-a-Lago friends, the economy is working exactly the way they want it to," said Neidhardt. "But for Wisconsin workers that is simply not the case."

Wisconsin's 2.8% unemployment rate for April is tied for fifth best in the country and is also below the national average.

While the state's minimum wage remains stuck at $7.25 an hour for the last decade, overall wages are up year to year nationally 3%.

"I'm proud to say under President Trump's leadership we are bringing manufacturing back," said Pence at a family-owned manufacturing plant Thursday in Eau Claire.

Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by turning many northern counties red. Trump campaigned last month in Green Bay.

"This president signed the largest tax cut and tax reform in American history, and American manufacturing is roaring," said Pence.

Pence credits cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% for creating nearly 6 million new jobs including manufacturing jobs.

But estimates suggest the GOP cuts will add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt over 10 years.

Another big issue in 2020 is trade and tariffs. Pence is calling on Congress to pass the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement or USMCA that he says will benefit manufacturers and dairy farmers.

"President Trump and I know we've got to level the playing field for American manufacturing by having trade deals that put America first," said Pence.

But Sanders' campaign says USMCA and other trade deals favor big corporations more than workers.

"With Bernie Sanders, you have the only candidate in 2020 who voted against NAFTA, opposed TPP, and said no, let's not have permanent trade relations with China and all that has fueled, hollowed out our industrial base in Wisconsin. It's time to reverse that," said Neidhardt.

Kayleigh McEnany, Trump's 2020 national press secretary, says, "President Trump has made good on his promise to the men and women of Wisconsin," and added "... the socialist policies of radical 2020 Democrats would take us back to the failed Obama/Biden administration."

The Democratic presidential primary in Wisconsin is next April — 11 months away. There are more than 20 Democratic candidates. The Democratic National Convention will be held in Milwaukee in July 2020.

"We are doing this here (Wisconsin) with our digital spot — "Betrayed" — to show that we not only have the resources to pour into Wisconsin," said Neidhardt, "we know what the issues are that matter to this state."