Wisconsin GOP leaders rally without Trump in Elkhorn


ELKHORN, Wis. (WBAY) – Until Friday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was scheduled to attend a fall fest in Elkhorn, but he was uninvited by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).

It came after a lewd video surfaced in which Trump made vulgar and profane comments about women. He later apologized.

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, was also initially scheduled to attend, but he cancelled hours before the event started.

Fall Fest was pegged as a Republican unity party, but at times, it wasn’t. People in the crowd heckled some of the speakers.

Gov. Scott Walker, Ryan and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) were all at the event.

“We need to have a president of the… listen to me, please,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). “Okay, be respectful. There’s an awful lot of lack of that – clean up your act, okay.”

Several Trump supporters kept interrupting the speakers, yelling Trump’s name.

“So, it’s great to be here with all of you,” Gov. Walker said. A member of the crowd shouted, “Where’s Donald Trump?” Walker continued speaking, saying, “…and it’s one of those, we’re going forward.”

Sensenbrenner was interrupted when a member from the crowd said, “I’m for Donald Trump.”

“Why don’t you listen to what I have to say rather than interrupting me?” Sensenbrenner asked the Trump supporter.

Most of the speakers avoided bringing up Trump. Instead, they focused on trying to re-elect Sen. Johnson, who is running against Democrat Russ Feingold.

When Speaker Ryan took the stage, he addressed what he called the elephant in the room by talking about his decision to uninvite Trump.

“I meant what I said, and it’s still how I feel, but that is not what we’re here to talk about today,” Ryan said.

The majority of the crowd was supportive of the overall message, but as Ryan continued, so did the hecklers.

“I just want to tell you something,” Ryan said. A crowd member then said, “You gotta back him.”

Ryan said, “We have got a responsibility for ourselves right here in Wisconsin.” A crowd member then said, “And you turned your back on Trump.”

Trump supporters at the rally are standing behind their candidate, though gave mixed reactions to his comments.

“I’ve heard worse things than that,” said Janet Becker of East Troy. “Something he said bragging to his buddies a long time ago”

“Disappointed in past behavior, but I have not given up on him,” said Adele Kehoe of Muskego. “That’s not why I am voting for him, because he’s a pinnacle of virtue.”

“It’s locker room talk. Is it damning? It could be,” said Ken Meudt of Delavan.

Ryan and the others left the stage to a mix of cheers and boos.