Republican Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels suggested he would take a more moderate approach on abortions Tuesday, before his campaign walked back the comment.
“I will never arrest a doctor, as they’re saying,” Michels said, according to The Associated Press (AP). “I’m a reasonable guy.” Doctors who perform abortions under Wisconsin’s ban can be found guilty of a class H felony, and face up to six years in prison, The AP reported.
But Michels’ spokesperson, Anna Kelly, appeared to walk back his remark. “He’s not a DA or beat cop arresting anyone,” she said, according to The AP.
— Patrick Marley (@patrickdmarley) October 18, 2022
Michels’ first shift on his stated abortion stance occurred in September when he stated he would sign a bill granting exceptions for abortion in the case of rape or incest, according to the AP. Democrats in Wisconsin have, however, accused Michels of trying to hide his more radical positions.
Sam Roecker, the spokesman for Michels’ opponent Democratic Gov. Tim Evers, stated that Michels’ shift was an attempt to hide his true support for “locking up doctors who provide abortions,” according to the AP.
“He’s either lying to voters today, in a desperate attempt to hide his radical positions, or he was lying to them for the last six months,” Roecker added.
“It’s not surprising he would make a last-minute, dishonest attempt to hide his radical record on abortion, education, and more,” Evers echoed in a statement to the AP. (RELATED: Most Voters Support Abortion Restrictions In Graham’s New Bill: POLL)
While Democrats have tried to steer the focus of the governor’s race to abortion, Michels stated their attempts are “just not sticking.” Instead, Michels has focused his campaign on crime and tax reform, promising to combat rising crime across the state and lower the income tax to a nearly flat rate of about 5% for all filers, according to the AP.