What They Are Saying: Debates Spotlight Contrast Between Ron Johnson, Senator Feingold As Race Tightens

Pair Of Televised Duels Remind Voters Why They Fired The 34-Year Career Politician
Ron Johnson won a pair of debates in the past week, clearly demonstrating why he’s closed the gap in the Wisconsin Senate race. With the race tighter than ever, Wisconsinites have a clear choice between an outsider who gets results and a career politician who says one thing and does another on every issue.

Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Debate (Friday, Oct. 14)

Associated Press: “Johnson branded Feingold a ‘career politician’ whose solution to every problem is growing government. Johnson, who built a plastics manufacturing company in Wisconsin before being elected to the Senate six years ago, said his private business background makes him more qualified to know what policies will work to create jobs and spur economic development.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “On national security, Johnson said the country has to stop ‘hollowing out its military,’ and said ‘America has to lead.’ He criticized Feingold’s plan to combat the Islamic State and claimed that as a senator, Feingold voted against measures to help law enforcement and the military contain threats.”

Marquette University Debate (Monday, Oct. 18)

Associated Press: Johnson challenged Feingold to defend his support for Clinton, who Feingold had described as honest and trustworthy. Feingold, who served 18 years in the Senate before being defeated by Johnson in 2010, reiterated that assessment of Clinton, saying that was his experience in working with her when she was first lady, a senator and secretary of state.

WKOW: “Meanwhile, Sen. Johnson appeared ready to stake his reelection on the notion that Wisconsin voters want a businessman in the U.S. Senate, not a career politician. ‘The fact of the matter is I’ve got a real record of being independent and voting with the best interests of Wisconsin in mind – and by the way – coming from the private sector I know how hard business is.’”

Wisconsin Public Radio: “In a reprise of his successful 2010 campaign, which unseated Feingold after 18 years in the senate, Johnson positioned himself as a pragmatic Washington outsider. ‘I’m a change agent,’ Johnson said. ‘If you want the status quo, if you think everything’s just wonderful in Washington, D.C., then you’re probably going to support a 34-year career politician.’”