Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson refused to apologize Friday for saying in a radio interview earlier in the week that he questioned the "cognitive thought process" of "veterans out there in the Democrat Party."
In an exclusive interview with The Dan O'Donnell Show Friday morning, Nicholson said he would neither apologize for his prior remarks nor back down from them.
"I don't get the faux outrage," he said. "I'm talking about a difference in ideas and I can disagree with your ideas, I can disagree with your thought processes, and say that I don't understand your reasoning. I can lay out my track record and it should not offend you. Everyone just needs to stop asking for apologies. The point of an election...is to lay out ideas, your ability to address issues, and you shouldn't get offended when I challenge your ideas, your thought process, or lay out my track record and my experience in all of it. That is the point of an election in the first place."
Nicholson sharply criticized the Democratic Party, Vote Vets (a liberal veterans group) and the campaign of his primary opponent, State Senator Leah Vukmir, for seizing on his comments and attempting to use them to score political points by forcing him to apologize.
"There's just a whole lot of people in politics asking for apologies all the time," Nicholson said. "It's like a full-time job for these people."
When asked whether the phrase "cognitive thought process" could be reasonably inferred to mean that Nicholson questioned liberal veterans' cognitive ability, Nicholson vehemently rejected the idea.
"I'm calling out a thought process," he explained. "You can use the word 'logic,' you can use whatever word you want. The reality is this: I wrote a Weekly Standard piece four years ago saying that I don't think the Democrats are connected to reality. You can call me to account on that. I wrote that four years ago or so. It's because on all of these important issues [Democrats] are disconnected from reality. They're not providing real solutions and I won't apologize for saying that."
In his June 19, 2014 Weekly Standard article entitled "Time for a Dose of Reality," Nicholson wrote that "the gaping disconnect between the would-be world inhabited by President Obama and his allies in the media and academia, and the reality that actually governs the world, has been laid bare. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the recent failures that have engulfed the Obama administration are all related to the military."
On Wednesday, Nicholson echoed this theme in an interview with WTMJ-AM, saying that "the Democrat Party has wholesale rejected the Constitution and the values that it was founded upon."
"So I'll tell you what: Those veterans that are out there in the Democrat Party, I question their, their cognitive thought process, " he added. "Because the bottom line is, they're signing up to defend the Constitution that their party is continually dragging through the mud."
Democrats and Republican supporters of Vukmir criticized those statements, but on News/Talk 1130 WISN Friday morning, Nicholson stood by them.
"Democrats' record on veterans' issues is terrible," he said. "And I don't believe that veterans or others for that matter should be voting for Democrats. Conservatives should be winning their vote."
Listen to Dan O'Donnell's complete interview with Kevin Nicholson by clicking Play: