Walker also encouraged Eau Claire residents at the event to campaign for Republicans the next couple of weeks and widen the tight margin between Johnson and Democrat Russ Feingold in the race for U.S. Senate.
When Feingold wasn’t re-elected to the Senate in 2011, Walker said it was the voters’ way of firing Feingold from his 18 years in office. Incumbent Johnson, who assumed office from Feingold, is giving voters the chance to choose Wisconsin and manufacturing values again, Walker said.
Johnson criticized Feingold for obtaining an education at elite schools such as Harvard University and University of Oxford. Meanwhile, Johnson said he had to wash dishes for $1.45 an hour, skip his senior year of high school to work full time and also worked full time through college.
“In America I don’t think anybody should have to apologize for working hard and succeeding (at) their American dream, and that’s why I want to go back to Washington, D.C., for just one more term,” Johnson said
His experience building on a Wisconsin-family manufacturing company will help him grow the state’s economy, he said. He plans to do so through growing the private sector, reducing business regulations and corporate taxes and utilizing energy resources to keep prices low.
“I want Wisconsinites to be able to keep more of their hard earned money and more of their freedom,” Johnson said.
About 100 people packed a room in the Brown County office to hear Walker champion the campaigns of incumbent U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Mike Gallagher, the GOP’s candidate in the 8th Congressional District.
“It’s why we want to make a compelling case,” Walker said. “We want Republicans to vote for Ron Johnson, we want independents, and I hope there’s discerning Democrats out there that realize if you want a workhorse and not a show horse that’s what you get with Ron Johnson.”
Johnson is in a tight race with former senator Russ Feingold, who is seeking to win back his seat after falling to the Oshkosh Republican six years ago.
Walker joined Johnson on the campaign trail Sunday. They started in Eau Claire in the early afternoon, moved on to Wausau and then to Green Bay before finishing in Waukesha in the early evening.
All along, Walker urged volunteer campaign workers to drum support in this election among family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. What’s more, Walker called on the state’s voters to get out the vote early the next two weeks before the Nov. 8 election.
During that interview with the newspaper, Johnson was highly critical of comments made by Feingold when he said his hiatus from politics had given him a chance “to feel like a guy from Wisconsin who is leading a life that is similar to other people.”
“Think of that,” he told a crowd of more than 100 supporters.
“Is that really a guy who has traveled around the state and really been part of Wisconsin?” Johnson asked. “After 18 years, finally having a chance to feel like a guy from Wisconsin?”
Johnson contrasted Feingold’s schooling at Harvard with his own: Working himself through college and helping an Oshkosh plastics company get off the ground by working 12-hour shifts on the production floor in addition to his management duties.
Walker derided Feingold’s record in the Senate, including his support for the McCain-Feingold campaign law and his support for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Walker said: “Feingold was in the Senate for 18 years and didn’t do squat.”
Johnson also used the weekend campaign swing to revive his criticism of Feingold as “a phony.”
He used the gibe against Feingold in a Politico article last year and took the chance to dust it off Friday during a Milwaukee newspaper interview, and Sunday night, during a campaign stop in Waukesha, calling Feingold “a phony” several times, including when talking with reporters.
“I’m sorry. I hate to say it, Sen. Feingold’s a complete phony. I’m the real deal. I’m genuine,” Johnson said.
Johnson touted his private sector experience and his chairmanship of a Senate committee, while claiming a super PAC associated with Feingold spent most of the money it raised on the Democratic candidate.