Reaction to Kenosha shooting deaths highlights partisan divide

NOW: Reaction to Kenosha shooting deaths highlights partisan divide

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – While both state Democrats and Republicans have called for an end to the violence in Kenosha, Republicans have come up short in directly condemning the shooting suspect now charged in the killing of two people on Tuesday night, instead putting blame on Governor Tony Evers.

“Now we have two people dead,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) said in an interview on the Jay Weber Show on WISN-AM. “That is entirely on Governor Evers’ shoulders because he refused to do what the locals asked for.”

“Two people are dead tonight in Kenosha because of Wisconsin’s inability to control the riots,” state Sen. Van Wanggaard (R – Racine) said in a letter to the governor that was shared publicly.

Any mention of the suspected shooter was absent in statements from state Sen. Duey Stroebel (R – Cedarburg), Congressman Bryan Steil (R – Wisconsin) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R – Wisconsin).

Democrats reacted differently, with statements from state Senators Chris Larson (D – Milwaukee) and LaTonya Johnson (D – Milwaukee) directly mentioning the shooting with Johnson saying, “those officers sworn to serve and protect were heard on video thanking the very militia who might be responsible for shooting three people last night, two of which are deceased.”

“It’s very lazy to blame the administration,” Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said in a phone interview with CBS 58. “That’s the lazy way out. And that is very much in tune with what’s been going on over the last four months.”

Barnes said the reaction from Republicans is in line with rhetoric from the past.

“For years and generations, the politics of divide and conquer is what brought them into office,” Barnes said.

One of the chief criticisms of Evers by Republicans was the governor’s response with mobilizing National Guard members to Kenosha. But in news conferences, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth has said that the state has provided local law enforcement the resources they have asked for.

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