CNN news anchor Jake Tapper revealed on Sunday that the network has hired former Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) as a political commentator.
“Let’s bring in new CNN contributor, commentator and former congressman Sean Duffy,” Tapper said as he introduced Duffy onto a panel during “State of the Union.” “Thank you for being here and congratulations on joining the CNN family.”
Duffy announced over the summer that he would be stepping down from his role in Congress to spend more time with his family. In October, he welcomed his ninth child, who needs special attention due to medical complications.
“Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition,” Duffy wrote in a statement in August. “With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby, and family need right now. It is not an easy decision — because I truly love being your Congressman — but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility.”
Duffy has represented Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District since he assumed office during the Tea Party wave in 2011. The district is the largest in the state of Wisconsin, covering 20 counties, and has become increasingly red over the past few election cycles.
In 2018, the former Wisconsin congressman was re-elected to the seat after winning more than 20% of the vote. President Donald Trump also won the district over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton by 21 points during the 2016 presidential election. The district is a Republican stronghold and is not expected to be competitive going into the 2020 election cycle.
Accordingly, Duffy is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump.
In his first appearance on CNN since he was hired by the network, Duffy defended both the president and the Republican Party over claims that there is no room for dissenting opinions on the right side of the aisle.
“If you look at the Republican Party and Donald Trump, I mean, we’ve expanded the party. So, Donald Trump won Wisconsin for the first time since 1984 — we won Michigan, we won Ohio, we’re winning union voters, rural voters — we’re doing better than we ever have,” Duffy said during the panel. “Now, if you want to say we don’t do well on the coast — in New York, New England, in the west coast of California, yeah, that’s true. But in the middle of America, where we actually have to keep the Senate and we have so many House seats, we are doing incredibly well.”
“But the bottom line is, we have a great, diverse party. We are the big tent party. We have pro-lifers, pro-choicers, we have some who want open borders, we have some who want closed borders,” he continued. “We have a great debate and I think it only advances our ability to win elections in states in the middle of America.”
CNN did not return The Daily Wire’s request for comment.