[Fox News] Trump throws support behind Republican businessman looking to flip Wisconsin Senate seat: ‘Go out and win’

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Former President Trump on Tuesday endorsed businessman and entrepreneur Eric Hovde — the Republican candidate who Trump says is the most capable of unseating Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., in the state’s U.S. Senate election later this year.

The comments from Trump, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee for 2024, came during a visit by the former president to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a campaign rally.

Describing Hovde as a “man who’s doing really good” and is “just about even in the polls,” Trump praised the GOP candidate during his trip to the Badger State.

“He’s a handsome devil, I just met him backstage,” Trump told the crowd of Hovde. “A beautiful wife, a beautiful family.”

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“I’ve met Eric and I’ve studied Eric because we have to get it right. [He’s] running against some very fine people, really, but I’ve looked it out, and they’re going to have other opportunities. Eric, I am giving you my complete and total endorsement, so go out and win,” Trump added.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Hovde, who will appear on the Wisconsin GOP primary election ballot on Aug. 13, noted that it’s going to take a total effort to defeat Baldwin in November.

“Wisconsin is the biggest swing state in the country and Sen. Baldwin’s failed record as a rubber stamp for the disastrous Biden policies will be on the ballot this fall,” Hovde wrote. “It will take an all-hands on deck effort to win in November, and we are building a strong coalition to get the job done.”

Hovde, who previously endorsed Trump for the presidency, formally launched his bid for U.S. Senate against Baldwin in February, saying that “America is slipping away” and “everything is going in the wrong direction.”

This is Hovde’s second Senate campaign; he ran in 2012 but lost in the GOP primary to former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Baldwin went on to win the election that year and is now seeking a third term in the battleground state.

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Re-electing Baldwin to a third term is critical for Democrat hopes to maintain majority control of the Senate. Democrats are defending 23 seats in the Senate in November, including two held by independents who caucus with Democrats. That’s compared with 11 seats that Republicans hope to keep in their column.

Baldwin’s campaign branded Hovde as “an out-of-touch megamillionaire” in a fundraising email sent minutes after his campaign website went live, and suggested that he would support the agenda of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., if elected.

“Hovde would vote to pass a national abortion ban, raise taxes on working families and seniors while cutting Social Security and Medicare, and repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesperson Arik Wolk said separately.

Wisconsin’s primary election is slated for Aug. 13. Hovde is running against half a dozen other Republicans who are seeking the party’s nomination.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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