Sean Duffy, Republican Representative from Wisconsin, has been a star for two decades. Ever since his start as the Lumberjack Sports World Champion appearing on MTV’s “The Real World” in the 1990s and a commentator on ESPN, Duffy has been an icon for a changing American culture.
Now Duffy is a rising star in the Republican Party, speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18 during primetime, alongside his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, who too was a star on “The Real World” (in a different season) and was a guest host on “The View” and “Fox and Friends,” and being a national spokesperson for the LIBRE Initiative, a limited government and entrepreneurship Hispanic outreach organization.
Duffy noted their happy family with 8 children now, joking, “Who said nothing good comes out of reality tv?” This also subtly hinted at GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s own reality show background as host of “The Apprentice” and “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
The power couple outlined the stakes in the election. “Every morning I look into the eyes of what’s at stake in this election, our children, yours and mine. The challenges facing America have never been greater, we must meet those challenges,” Campos-Duffy said, as she and her husband ignited the crowd and attempted to unite the party.
Duffy called for unity among Republicans to rally around Donald Trump, saying, “Sadly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us $19 trillion in debt and thousands of new rules and regulations are crushing the American workers. Do you know want four more years of that? Radical jihadists are killing Americans all the time while Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama are fretting over whether to call it work place violence or a hate crime. Do you want four more years of that? We need to unify behind a new president who can strengthen, protect, and restore our nation for the next generation.”
“We can make America great again, and we will, but it’s going to take all of us,” Duffy emphasized, acalling for the party to stick together.
Highlighting both of their families’ immigrant backgrounds, Duffy added, “Our grandparents chose to be Americans, and we choose to be Republicans, because the Republican Party offers upward mobility rooted in individual liberty and economic freedom.”
Duffy entered Congress in 2010 and achieved reelection in 2012 making a name for himself as he submitted a key repeal and replace bill for Obamacare called the Patient Centered Healthcare Saving Act, H.R. 3622.
Duffy continued his prominence in 2014 with legislation blocking the transference of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions control over the domain name system to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), citing First Amendment concerns post-transition. It acts to protect Obama’s latest violation of the First Amendment, the transference of internet power from the U.S. government to ICANN.
Duffy has once again introduced an amendment to the Department of Commerce appropriations bill which denied the Obama administration the funding to transfer power. The legislation has passed the past two years, and is also under serious consideration to block the transfer again in the upcoming expected continuing resolution in September.
This amendment ensures that President Obama cannot provide unsecure countries authority to limit Internet access to citizens, as countries already attempted.
After his reelection in 2014, Duffy moved forward with legislation on Puerto Rico debt restructuring. Duffy introduced House bill H.R. 4900 which assisted in “creating a controlled environment for restructuring Puerto Rico’s unsustainable $72 billion of debt that will keep taxpayers off the hook,” according to Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning in a statement issued on April 15, 2016.
The legislation saved taxpayers from having to bail out creditors that bet poorly on Puerto Rico debt. It passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law last month.
With this growing track record, Duffy now is pushing outside of his prominence in the legislature, speaking at the Republican National Convention as a party leader. Duffy reminded delegates of his down to earth background and cracked jokes at Hillary Clinton’s expense, but did not miss the opportunity to urge delegates of the importance of the election.
Clearly, a good part of the speech was directed at Republicans in Wisconsin, who backed Ted Cruz in the primary, not Trump. “We can’t stay home now, if we’re going to save our country,” Duffy pleaded.
Duffy and his wife begged Americans — and some Republican convention-goers unsure of Trump — to consider what four more years of Democratic rule would do, solidifying the call for a unified party. While he wasn’t the first of the day to do this, his presence and crowd favorability were reminiscent of a true rising star in the GOP. His words supported Trump, but his subtext supported the future of the Republican Party he seeks to represent.
This is a guest post by Natalia Castro contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.