Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Tommy Thompson is backing off comments made by an aide who mocked his Democratic opponent’s attendance at a 2010 gay pride event.
Mr. Thompson told reporters Tuesday that his now-former spokesman Brian Nemoir has been reassigned to another role within the campaign after he sent out email and Twitter messages last week linking to a video of Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Tammy Baldwin dancing at the 2010 Wisconsin Capitol Pride rally.
The video, which was posted on YouTube in 2010, shows her dancing onstage with a band. Ms. Baldwin, who is a lesbian, is vying to become the nation’s first openly-gay U.S. senator.
“Clearly, there’s no one better positioned to talk ‘heartland values’ than Tammy,” Mr. Nemoir wrote in the email, later describing the video as “a primer for her values.”
Mr. Nemoir claimed he sent the email and tweet on his own behalf and that they were not meant to represent the campaign, although the email was sent from his official campaign address.
Mr. Thompson told reporters Tuesday that he considers Ms. Baldwin’s sexuality a “non-issue” in the race and that it does not necessarily put her values at odds with those of voters.
“I thought it was a mistake,” Mr. Thompson said. “He’s apologized, I believe. He shouldn’t have done it.”