Russell Feingold in 2010 WI Senate Debates


On Budget & Economy: Balanced budgets with Clinton; stood up to deficit with Bush

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 Homeland Security: Supports a fully integrated military, including gays

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 Budget & Economy: 41-point plan to help control federal spending

Feingold accused his opponent several times of ducking questions by resorting to vague cliches instead of offering specific arguments. "I've never seen a larger gap between questions and what's said in response than any debate I've ever been in," he said.

Feingold said he himself offered specifics, for example a 41-point plan to help control federal spending. Johnson said the plan would cut $25 billion per year at a time when the deficit is $1,400 billion.

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

On Budget & Economy: 41-point plan to help control federal spending

That "doesn't cut it," he said.

Feingold shot back that at least he's providing a plan, whereas his opponent hadn't done that.

Later Johnson referred to a larger cost-cutting plan that Feingold put forth when he first entered office, and said the federal debt increased $10 trillion since that time. "Your plans didn't work, Sen. Feingold," Johnson said.

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

On Health Care: Healthcare reform is a good compromise

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 Free Trade: Protect jobs from being shipped abroad via free trade

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

On Health Care: Brags about having voted for 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: $184B stimulus created jobs, especially highway construction

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

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 Russell Feingold.
Click here for a profile of Russell Feingold.
Russell Feingold 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