A Wisconsin Republican congressman is calling U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan's choice of guest at the State of the Union address a "disheartening political stunt."
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, is taking issue with Pocan, D-Black Earth, inviting a Democratic challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan to the national speech in Washington D.C. Pocan plans on bringing Randy Bryce to the address at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Bryce, an ironworker and activist, is vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Ryan for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District this fall.
"This is an attempt to sow political discourse and deepen a divide in an already fractured political environment. Creating a spectacle like this -- regardless of position or party -- is disrespectful and out of bounds," Sensenbrenner said.
Pocan contends Sensenbrenner has little room to criticize based on the GOP congressman's muted response to some of President Donald Trump's more controversial statements, including disparaging comments about African nations, bragging about sexual assault and referring to some white supremacists as "very fine people."
"Republicans have zero credibility to discuss the state of political discourse in America or what is disrespectful," Pocan said.
Both Pocan and Bryce argue Ryan has not been responsive to his constituents by holding town hall meetings without pre-screened questions or guests. The duo has held town hall meetings together in the southeastern Wisconsin district, which Sensenbrenner called disrespectful on Pocan's part as he isn't elected to represent that area.