VIDEO | Walker, Nelson argue over health care legislation
APPLETON, Wis. (WLUK) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker accused Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson of pulling a "political stunt" as the two men got into a heated exchange over health care legislation working its way through the U.S. Congress.
At times, arguments about re-overhauling the government's health insurance program have been intense on the national stage. Friday, that boiled over into local politics.
An argument between Governor Walker and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson played out in front of the cameras.
On Friday afternoon Fox Cities leaders hosted Governor Walker during an event celebrating tourism in Appleton.
After the speeches, Tom Nelson approached Walker to talk about healthcare.
"Just to be clear, the county executive wants to take away from tourism right now and play a political stunt about a topic that has nothing to do with what we're talking about today," said Walker.
Nelson expressed concern about the federal healthcare bill passed in the House of Representatives Thursday.
During the argument, the men attacked each other's records.
"There was a waiting list for coverage for people living in poverty when you served in the state legislature. I removed that waiting list. So that no one...you can make up facts!' exclaimed Walker.
"You sent to other states hundreds of millions of dollars for the Medicaid expansion that could take care of everything from the opiate crisis that we are dealing with, to health insurance for for those individuals," replied Nelson.
The two often cut one another off and spoke over each other.
Nelson served as a democrat in the state assembly from 2005 to 2011. He also served as the Assembly majority leader.
Walker went on to bring up Nelson's failed run for Congress in November.
"You had your chance with the voters in the state, in the northeast part of the state of Wisconsin, to run for Congress. The voters rejected your opinion," said Walker.
"Governor, with all due respect you are turning this political," said Nelson.
Nelson said 300,000 people could lose coverage under the federal bill. He said the governor needs to protect Wisconsinites.
"Just to be clear," Walker started.
"This is very disrespectful to the people of Northeast Wisconsin," Nelson told the governor.
The governor said he plans to take closer consideration of the federal bill in the future.
"We'll take a look at it when it goes to the United States Senate. We're gonna lobby it in a way that allows us to do the things that we've done here in the state of Wisconsin," he told reporters.
Walker is a Republican who ran for president in the 2016 election but dropped out of the race before the primary election season.
Nelson's office is non-partisan, but he has served in the Legislature as a Democrat, and ran for Congress last year, also as a Democrat.
Walker said his plan was to wait to see what Congress does with the legislation before deciding how to proceed.
On Friday evening, Walker sent out the following three tweets:
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