Ron Johnson in 2010 WI Senate Debates


On Civil Rights: Public dislikes when judges replace democracy, like DADT

The two disagreed on the recent decision by a federal judge to overturn the military's "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy.

Feingold said he supported a fully integrated military, while Johnson said the military needs more information on the effects of removing the policy before overturning it.

"That's what the American people, that's what Wisconsin voters dislike, when one federal judge replaces democracy," Johnson said. "I think we should get the input from the people who actually serve."

Source: The Daily Cardinal coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 25, 2010

On Jobs: Government cannot create long-term self-sustaining jobs

Johnson criticized Feingold's vote for the stimulus package and his disconnect from the business world. "The premise of that is, the government can create long-term self-sustaining jobs, and that's just wrong," Johnson said.

Feingold attacked what he called Johnson's lack of specific plans and his avoiding the questions. Johnson noted that over Feingold's 18-year Senate career, however, the deficit has gone from $4 trillion to $14 trillion, referencing his most recent television ad.

"Everybody know that when Bill Clinton was president we worked together, we completely balanced the budget. I took very tough votes," Feingold shot back. "And then I stood up to the deficit spending of the Bush administration. Your ad is absolutely dishonest, Ron."

In his closing statement, Johnson said he could bring a fresh, business world discipline to Washington to fix the deficit. Feingold emphasized his experience and reputation for fiscal responsibility.

Source: The Daily Cardinal coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 25, 2010

On War & Peace: No limit to Afghan presence; as long as it's terrorist haven

When it comes to the conflict in Afghanistan, Johnson said there should be no limit on the military's presence there so long as Afghanistan acts as a haven for terrorists.

"We better get ready to invade just about every country in the world then," Feingold said in response, arguing that Al-Qaeda is an international problem that cannot be solved with the invasion of just one country.

Source: The Daily Cardinal coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 25, 2010

On Corporations: I'd be the only manufacturer in the Senate

Feingold suggested that Johnson is out of his league as a political businessman. Johnson, who has no political experience, has anchored his campaign on his three-decade background as an accountant and manufacturer. He has called Feingold fiscally irresponsible because the senator voted for the "budget-busting" health care reform law and economic stimulus bill.

Feingold fired back, saying that Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl--who helped develop his family-owned department store chain--has far more

Source: Washington Post coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 22, 2010

On Corporations: I'd be the only manufacturer in the Senate

polished business credentials than Johnson and also supported both measures. "What's wrong with his business judgment?" asked Feingold, who until Friday had not mentioned his colleague's name on the campaign trail.

Johnson responded by saying he would be the only manufacturer in the Senate, which would give him the small-business perspective that longer-tenured politicians lack. "I think America likes our manufacturing, and producing products again," Johnson said.

Source: Washington Post coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 22, 2010

On Government Reform: Third-party issue ad donors should be disclosed

One of the more heated exchanges came in response to a question about whether businesses should be required to disclose their identities in third-party issue ads.

"I'd be happy to have them disclose," Johnson said.

"Well, then why don't you ask them to do it?" Feingold responded.

"Disclose," Johnson said to applause from the audience.

Source: Wisconsin Radio Network coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Health Care: ObamaCare will cost the average family $2,100

The two candidates sparred over health care reform. Feingold defended his vote on the law, touting benefits that include letting adult children stay on their parents' plan until they're 26 and banning companies from denying coverage on those with pre-existing conditions. "The bill is a good compromise that I think brings the country forward," Feingold said.

"We didn't need a 2,600-page bill passed in the middle of the night to address the problems that do exist in our health care industry," Johnson fired back, arguing in favor of repealing a bill that he said amounts to a government takeover and will cost the average family $2,100.

Source: Wisconsin Radio Network coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 12, 2010

On Budget & Economy: $184B stimulus drove the country deeper into debt

Feingold voted for the $814 billion economic stimulus measure last year, saying it would create jobs and stabilize the economy. He has defended the vote by saying it created jobs, pointing as proof to the abundance of "under construction" signs on highways across the state. Johnson says the vote drove the country deeper into debt without providing any meaningful benefits.
Source: Chicago Tribune coverage of 2010 Wisconsin Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Health Care: Running for Senate based on fierce opposition to Obamacare

Johnson says it was his fierce opposition to the new law that drove him to run. He calls it an assault on the country's freedom and says it must be repealed and replaced with free-market solutions. Feingold is one of the rare Democrats who is bragging about having voted for the measure. He says it provides more consumer choices and patient protections while reducing the power of health insurers to deny coverage.
Source: Chicago Tribune coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

On Jobs: Proven record of creating jobs at his private company

Feingold says his Republican opponent supports free-trade agreements that have shipped jobs from Wisconsin to other countries. He says he is the candidate who will fight to protect Wisconsin jobs. Johnson touts his experience at his private company, a plastics manufacturer with about 100 employees. He says he's the one with a proven record of creating jobs.
Source: Chicago Tribune coverage of 2010 Wisc. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

The above quotations are from 2010 Wisconsin Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts from 2010 Wisconsin Senate Debates.
Click here for other excerpts by Ron Johnson.
Click here for a profile of Ron Johnson.
Ron Johnson on other issues:
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Jobs
Principles
Social Security
Tax Reform
Technology
War/Peace
Welfare
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Page last updated: Dec 02, 2010