Five days later, Tommy Thompson explains his campaign’s attacks on Tammy Baldwin’s sexual orientation (UPDATED)

Five days after his Senate campaign’s political director sent out an email purporting that Democratic Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin lacked “heartland values” because of her sexual orientation, Republican “Tea Party Tommy” Thompson offered an explanation for his campaign’s attacks on Baldwin.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson said Tuesday that it was a mistake for one of his aides to send a disparaging email and Twitter messages about Democratic opponent Tammy Baldwin dancing at a gay pride event.

The email and tweets were sent in advance of Baldwin’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last week.

“I thought it was a mistake, I’m sorry, and he’s apologized, I believe,” Thompson told reporters after a luncheon of the Milwaukee Rotary Club. “He shouldn’t have done it.”

The fact that Tommy Thompson took five days to offer an explanation for the email sent out by Brian Nemoir (from Nemoir’s campaign email account, no less) isn’t surprising, because as I wrote last week, Thompson strikes me as just the kind of “good old boy” who will say he’s not a homophobe while condoning homophobic statements with a wink and a nod.

The fact is, the Tommy Thompson of 20 years ago – who was truly a moderate Republican – is dead, having been wholly replaced by “Tea Party Tommy” Thompson, a right-wing extremist of the first order. What’s more, the fact that Tommy Thompson has chosen to keep Brian Nemoir as a part of his campaign team instead of firing him outright speaks volumes about the fact that Thompson clearly doesn’t see homophobia among his campaign staffers as being a big problem.

UPDATED: Here’s some video of Tommy Thompson offering an explanation for his campaign’s attacks on Tammy Baldwin’s sexual orientation.

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