Wisconsin Public Radio

Barnes Calls Johnson a ‘Danger To This State’

Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate blasts Johnson, Trump in speech to Rotary Club.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Nov 1st, 2022 03:45 pm
Mandela Barnes. (Public Domain).

Mandela Barnes. (Public Domain).

With one week left in Wisconsin’s contentious U.S. Senate race, Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is telling voters Republican incumbent Ron Johnson is a danger to the state who threatens the stability of the nation. Meanwhile, Johnson has claimed the Barnes is pushing for fundamental change because he doesn’t like America.

During a presentation before the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Barnes fielded questions from a panel of reporters and members of the audience. He was asked about a rise in political violence, including the recent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s husband in their home, and about how he would use a six-year Senate term to lower the temperature.

Barnes put the blame on former President Donald Trump who he said gave a “green light” for divisiveness that was embraced by many Republicans. He called politicians who failed to push back against Trump’s comments “weak” and not deserving of public office.

Barnes brought up Johnson’s comments to the Rotary club on Oct. 4 where he that it was inaccurate to call the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. capitol an “armed insurrection.”

“Jan. 6 was a real thing that most people thought they would never see happen,” said Barnes. “They tried to storm the Capitol. They tried to hang the vice president.”

Barnes also mentioned Johnson’s connections to an attempt to get fake electors, organized by Trump’s re-election campaign, to former Vice President Mike Pence prior to the insurrection aimed at blocking the certification of President Joe Biden‘s 2020 win.

“He’s not just a danger to this state,” said Barnes. “He’s a threat to the stability of this country. That’s who he is.”

Meanwhile, Johnson has been warning supporters at rallies across Wisconsin that Barnes and fellow progressive Democrats want to fundamentally change America and “don’t particularly like this country.”

During the final U.S. Senate debate on Oct. 13, Johnson said Barnes “has turned against America.”

Since Barnes won an all-but-uncontested Democratic primary in August, Wisconsin residents have been inundated with negative TV and digital ads about the Senate candidates.

Johnson’s campaign and outside Republican political action committees have claimed Barnes supports defunding the police and cutting Wisconsin’s prison population in half. They’ve often featured video of Barnes talking about redirecting police funding to community services in hopes of preventing crime and enacting prison reforms aimed at bringing the state’s prison population more in line with neighboring states.

The Barnes campaign and outside Democratic political action committees have run ads claiming Johnson wants to cut Social Security and Medicare funding for seniors and have focused on the Senator’s longtime opposition to abortion.

Both men have pushed back against the attacks. Barnes told the Tuesday crowd at the Rotary club gathering that he doesn’t support the Defund the Police movement and has worked with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to increase police funding with American Rescue Plan stimulus funds.

Johnson has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to cut Social Security or Medicare funding, but thinks they should be subject to annual appropriations by Congress because the programs are at risk of becoming insolvent without oversight.

Wisconsin’s Senate race is expected to be close, with both parties telling supporters the contest is tied. But recent public polling has shown Johnson pulling ahead. Johnson led Barnes by between one and six percentage points in four October polls conducted by CBS News, the Marquette University Law School, CNN and Data for Progress.

On Tuesday, polling analysis website FiveThirtyEight announced Johnson is now favored to win Wisconsin’s Senate election.

Real Clear politics, which aggregates polling results, shows Johnson leading Barnes by an average of 3 percentage points, though that site lists the race as a toss-up.

Listen to the WPR report here.

Mandela Barnes to Milwaukee Rotary: Ron Johnson is a ‘threat to the stability of this country’ was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

2 thoughts on “Barnes Calls Johnson a ‘Danger To This State’”

  1. MrTea says:

    Johnson is a danger to the State and to the Nation! Johnson is racist and has turned fascism while trying to overturn our elections and he is self serving and he is corrupt. He has only enriched himself and his pals while in washington and cares nothing for the misguided and lied to people in Wisconsin who have supported him.

    How many times must Johnson embarrass himself and Wisconsin with his ignorant comments and actions and truth is he is just an ignorant man who should not be our senator. . How sad that white men and women follow this man because they are scared they are losing their whiteness somehow and their majority. Truth is since Trump and since Johnson have been in government our nation is less safe! Working men and women at an average wage scale have done worse under republicans. The Republicans like Johnson claim they are for the police they are not they claim they are vets they are not and the crime problem worsened due to their policy yet they blame democrats. They want more guns and guns only due one thing bring more crime and more death. They have done nothing for the people of this country but lie over and over and over again. Johnson and craven politicians like him and worse now are putting our democracy on the line itself. If Johnson is re-elected and his party is in power buyer beware you will lose rights as women already have and watch for authoritarian government coming to a state near you. This is how it goes if you read a little history they are using the Nazi playbook how to destabilize and destroy democracy for personal gain and power. Once they have it they will never let it go. This is the Putin wing of the extreme republican MAGA party. Johnson already tried to overturn our election and signed on to fake electors to send to Washington that should be enough to disqualify him! Johnson stands for hate and lies and his stand on tax cuts for the rich refusing to protect women’s health and abortion and will dismantle LBGTQ rights! God forbid you are a person of color republicans and Johnson will continue to ensure you life is hell. Anti-semitism is at an all time high due to the lies of republicans like Johnson. They only know how to promote hate and attack anyone who is not white and christian this is wrong!. This elections is not about gas prices and inflation. This election is about your personal freedoms and saving our nation for exploding. Go vote and rid Wisconsin of Johnson who voted against infrastructure is against women’s health is against people of color and uses social issues to distract you from the truth. Republicans do nothing for the nation but tear it down. They use the word liberal as something to fear its a joke. The Democrats in Washington have protected your medicare did their best to protect you from covid even as Trump lied about it all costing god knows how many lives. A vote for republicans is a vote for the end of democracy and your rights your freedoms. They want it all and you will suffer. Democrats govern Republicans destroy. Show me how the average Americans life improved under republicans and Trump. Due to the lies and misinformation and mismanagement we all suffered and if you give them power again they will ruin the nation and bring violence as a practice to the nation. That is what extremists and fascist do. Beware. Vote Johnson out! Vote out all republicans who gerrymandered our state to hell even if Dems win we lose. This is also wrong. Vote for democracy vote for a decent future for your kids not violence guns and climate denial and fascism. If so we all will lose! You will have yourself to blame. Vote DEM its the only hope for the future.

  2. Mandela Barnes loves America enough to work toward what the Preamble to the United States Constitution identifies as “a more perfect union,” by fighting for diversity, individual freedoms and rights, and the domestic tranquility that our country was founded upon. This effort is not easy–but it is the motivation for the dynamic history of the United States itself, always changing, improving, and working toward a vision of justice and liberty for all. In contrast, Ron Johnson has shown his approach: to sow seeds of division, to dismantle long-held promises such as Social Security and Medicare for political purposes, to serve himself through corruption, and to slowly build an oligarch class and a political system in which individual rights are constrained to fit within a far-right ideology and where elections are tightly controlled to suppress opposition. The difficult work to be a representative democracy is worth it, and it need not revert to an authoritarian state for feelings of security. Wisconsin voters need to reject Ron Johnson now, while they still can.

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