• WisPolitics


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

 9:21 PM 

McCain backers hoping for Clinton

WEST ALLIS -- The Republican watch party at Milwaukee County Exec. Scott Walker's campaign headquarters is winding down following McCain's victory speech.

Reaction was muted from the crowd of about 30, but they did cheer when McCain discussed how he wants to deal with Cuba following the resignation of Fidel Castro.

Milwaukee County Republican Party Chair David Karst said he wasn't surprised few came out tonight.

"There's no contest," Karst said, noting that the race has essentially been decided for the last several weeks.

RPW Chair Reince Priebus said tonight's results were not surprising and called for unity among Wisconsin Republicans.

"We're not surprised; obviously the winds been at McCain's back for a couple of weeks," Priebus said.

Priebus complemented Huckabee for running a "tough race" and working hard in Wisconsin.

"He worked hard in the state of Wisconsin, and now we have to build this party," Priebus said. "We've got to unite our party, bring the Huckabee people over to John McCain's side and work for who looks to be our eventual nominee."

Preibus described division in the GOP about McCain as "two weeks ago's news."

"I think John McCain is poised to win in November, and I think he's the Democrats' worst nightmare," Priebus said.

With the Republican nomination all but locked up, some of those expressed interest in how the Democratic nomination contest was shaping up.

UW-Milwaukee student Mark Zeihen, 18, said he'd prefer to see Clinton win the nomination.

"She'd be an easier opponent for us," Zeihen.

Zeihen said he voted for McCain today, who he described as a "strong candidate."

Zeihen said he is most impressed with McCain's plan to improve the economy, which would help solve other problems.

Marilyn Krichell, 70, of West Allis, said she is fully behind McCain because of his stance on the war on terror and the Iraq war.

"I don't want people who are talking about getting out of Iraq without winning," Krichell said.

She also said she'd prefer Clinton to get the Democratic nomination.

"We know who she is, we know what she's done," Krichell said.

Luonne Dumak, 72, of New Berlin, also said she'd rather see Clinton win the primary.

While she said she wants McCain to win the election, she said that if he lost in November that Clinton would be a better president than Obama.

She said she feared that Obama would be too reluctant to use military force and invite attack and that Clinton has more experience and would be "tough."

"Obama's too dangerous for this country, he has no experience," Dumak said.

-- By David Wise

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