MADISON - Five months ago, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald declared "We're all on the Trump Train now." And even as that train derails in spectacular fashion, Sen. Fitzgerald and Wisconsin Republicans are doubling down on the dangerous, divisive, and offensive campaign of their party's nominee.
Late last week, video from 2005 surfaced that showed Donald Trump bragging about using his celebrity to sexually assault women. During the second presidential debate on Sunday, Donald Trump doubled-down on his comments and even appeared to not understand his own words when asked by Anderson Cooper if he understood that Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. "No, I didn't say that at all," Trump replied.
In the immediate wake of the scandal, Wisconsin Republicans were largely silent on whether or not they would continue their support for The Donald. Now, just 48-hours after the Republican nominee doubled-down on his statements and seemingly acknowledged not understanding sexual assault, Wisconsin's Republicans are finally speaking out - but they're not saying what you might think.
Even as state legislators like Sen. Tom Tiffany and Sen. Luther Olsen continue to duck questions from the media Wisconsin's top Republicans have expressed in no uncertain terms they're going to ride the Trump Train as far as it will take them.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Speaker Ryan tells GOP he won't defend Trump
But Ryan, during a conference call with GOP colleagues, stopped short of rescinding his own tepid endorsement of Trump. There is "no update" in his position on Trump "at this time," an aide said.
Wisconsin State Journal: Ron Johnson sticks with Donald Trump as other Republican Senate candidates cut him loose
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is standing by fellow Republican Donald Trump, even as other party members campaigning for the U.S. Senate in competitive states have abandoned their embattled White House nominee.
WSAW: Duffy calls Trump's comments "disgusting," still stands by his policies
Wisconsin Republican lawmakers are voicing their opinions on Trump's comments. Representative Sean Duffy said that while he is disgusted, he isn't surprised by them and will still continue to stand by him.
WQOW: The Latest: Sensenbrenner Stands By Trump
Sensenbrenner issued a statement Monday reiterating his support for Trump. He joins other prominent Wisconsin Republicans in holding firm on Trump, even as House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will not defend or campaign with him. Sensenbrenner says, "Now is not the time to make perfect the enemy of the good."
“I am not prepared to have four more years of open borders, four more years of over-regulation of industry and four more years of spiraling welfare rolls just yet,” Grothman said. “I don’t feel like waiting four more years.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State GOP stand fast on Trump, criticize Clinton
There was no comment from Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel or Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Walker condemned Trump's comments on Friday but none of the three has withdrawn support from Trump.
Wisconsin State Journal: Scott Fitzgerald: I'm still aboard the Trump train
"As shocking as the tape revealed last week was, it shouldn't have as a surprise to anyone because Donald Trump has been showing us all how sexist and dangerous he is throughout his entire campaign. The decision to withdraw support for his campaign should be a no-brainer to any Republican with a shred of dignity and self-respect," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Tuesday."What we've seen in the last 48-hours is exactly why voters are fed up with Republican leadership in our state. Over the last six years, Republicans have chosen their party lines over Wisconsin and their refusal to withdraw support of a candidate who gloats about sexually assaulting women no is no exception."