As Dems debated at UWM, Republican leaders said they hope GOP can win Wisconsin in 2016

MILWAUKEE -- Republicans and Democrats both agreed on something on Thursday, February 11th, as Milwaukee played host to a Democratic presidential debate: Wisconsin could be a very important state come April. And Republicans believe they can do something they haven't done in three decades -- win Wisconsin.

GOP Milwaukee debate

Republicans had their turn in November. The GOP presidential candidates debated at the Milwaukee Theatre.

On February 11th, the Democratic presidential candidates faced off on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Republicans said they're not impressed with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch

"Hillary Clinton's plan would cost 300,000 jobs. Bernie Sanders' plan would cost about 3 million American jobs," said Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.

Kleefisch said both Democratic candidates are bad choices for the White House.

"When you hear these two candidates lament the departure of good American companies to countries that tax less, it never occurs to them to look in the mirror," said Kleefisch.

Republicans are trying in 2016 to do something that has not been done since 1984 -- win the state of Wisconsin.

"Wisconsin was the closest blue state in America during the presidential election in 2000 and 2004. Somehow we forget to report about that," said Governor Scott Walker.

Governor Scott Walker

Walker, who was in the race for president until September, said Republicans can win Wisconsin in 2016 -- but he admitted how, is anyone's guess.

"A lot of variables. The only thing that's been certain in this race, as you know, is any predictions are largely likely to not be accurate. It's unpredictable no matter who breaks the assumption," said Walker.

Walker said he would likely tune in for some of the Democratic debate Thursday at UWM -- and watch the whole thing later on his treadmill.

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