Republicans discuss divide with Democrats at state convention - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Republicans discuss divide with Democrats at state convention

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ROTHSCHILD (WAOW) -

Some big name republicans visited central Wisconsin Saturday, for a major political event.

The state Republican convention took place in Rothschild.

"We're the party that stands for equal opportunity not equal outcome, because we understand people want to be given the chance to succeed not being indebted to the government for the rest of their lives," said Governor Scott Walker.

That was one of several topics discussed at the convention. Some big names, including Walker, attended and spoke to the party faithful.

"Believe me I'm familiar with the last election, it didn't go the way I had thought or planned it to go, but one of the challenges we found ourselves consistently was we were fighting big government in theory," said Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential candidate.

Political division has been the norm in Wisconsin recently after the contentious recall election last year.  And on the national level it's even worse, as both sides fight about almost everything.

Congressman Paul Ryan says he hopes both sides can come together.

"We have divided government we're going to try and figure out how to make this divided government work, said Ryan.

Ryan says immigration is an issue he feels Republicans and Democrats can work on.

"We're trying to find common ground on spending cuts and on deficit reduction to get this debt under control," Ryan said. "We're also trying to find common ground on tax reform and other issues.We do have Republicans and Democrats talking together, but we're the minority party in the federal government and we're trying to make this work, we'll see what happens."

But that won't be easy. Ryan explained why.

"Obamacare, stimulus, and big tax increases," he said.

Congressman Sean Duffy also weighed in on the political divide.

"There's some big things to fight about, there's some very different ideas on where we think the country should go, but there's a lot of things we can work on so there are things we can identify that are on the left and the right that we're never going to agree on and we're going to fight on those issues, but there's a lot of stuff in the middle that we can come together on," said Congressman Duffy. 

But as Ryan acknowledged, Republicans are the minority party in the federal government.

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus told delegates the party has to change to stay competitive.

"We're winning just about everywhere, almost everything, except we get into this presidential election cycle and if we're being honest we haven't won a decisive presidential race in 24 years, so what's going on," said Priebus.

The two parties do have their differences.

"It's not as bad as the Packers versus the Bears," said Ryan.

But Republicans here say they're hopeful something can change to bring both sides together.

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