Republicans are willing to criticize any candidate on the debate stage regardless of their views, said TJ Bucholz, president and CEO of Vanguard Public Affairs in Lansing.
"It's all smoke screen. If there were three candidates up there, Republicans would call them socialists," said Bucholz, a Democratic consultant.
While Bucholz does not consider Williamson is a particularly viable candidate, citing a lack of a substantial voting base and poor debate performance, he said Republicans are going to attack anyone they perceive as a threat.
"I think at the end of the day, Republicans are terrified that a Democrat can topple Trump here. So they're gonna do whatever they can to slow down the Democratic nomination process," Bucholz said.