The campaigns for Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Tommy Thompson stayed on the attack Thursday, ahead of the second U.S. Senate debate in Wausau. Thompson got a hand from Republican U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who went after Baldwin for her votes against sanctions against Iran.
Baldwin voted yes on the most recent round of sanctions against Iran, and she also supported various other sanctions going back to 2001. But she voted against other sanctions in between, saying they would do little to hurt the government but would do much damage to the Iranian people.
Flanked by Thompson and Sen. Graham, Sen. McCain told reporters the no votes signaled that Baldwin did not grasp the seriousness of the Iranian nuclear threat, "When you vote against sanctions on Iran, that's not on the fringe, that's over the edge. That's over the edge."
Baldwin's campaign has said previously that she has a long record of supporting sanctions. Thursday, Democrats seized on McCain's visit to talk about an area where the Senator agreed with Baldwin. In 2003, Sen. McCain was a vocal critic of the prescription drug benefit Thompson negotiated as a Bush cabinet secretary that banned the federal government from negotiating with drug companies. That's been one of Baldwin's primary lines of attack against Thompson. State Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate: "We think John McCain had it right about Tommy Thompson's sweetheart special deal for the big drug special interests."
McCain said that just because he disagreed with Thompson on this one issue didn't mean he didn't support Thompson on many others. McCain said when he ran for President he sought Thompson's advice on his health care platform.