Presidential races

Vulnerable GOP senator: I’d stump with Trump

Greg Nash

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who is facing a tough reelection fight, says he’s open to hitting the campaign trail with GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

“Stump with Trump?” he said Monday in Waukesha, Wis., according to CNN. “Just because it rhymes: It’d be the Ronald [and] the Donald.

{mosads}“Certainly, as I travel the state extensively, I hear a lot of support because what Donald Trump is saying resonates with an awful lot of people when it comes to the incompetence of Washington, D.C.,” he continued. “From what I’ve heard, Trump is running very strong up in the Northwest [portion of Wisconsin] … that should also help me a bit, too.”

Johnson is one of the GOP’s most vulnerable senators and faces a tough battle against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).

He beat Feingold by 5 points during a close 2010 race but is running in a Democratic-leaning state that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Democrats are hoping they can flip Senate seats by tying Republican senators such as Johnson to Trump and the heated fight over President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) launched a pair of Web ads last week accusing vulnerable GOP senators of obstructing Obama’s nominee so Trump could pick a new justice instead.

Obama nominated Merrick Garland — the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia — to the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. But Republican Senate leaders are refusing to hold hearings, saying it should wait until next year.

Some Republican senators, though, have bucked leadership and said they will meet with Garland.

Johnson on Monday said opposing hearings for Garland would not hurt his reelection chances.

“Our supporters do not want to see the Supreme Court flipped from five conservatives to four liberal judicial activists,” he said of Garland. “He’s got a proven record of being hostile to the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. That’s kind of important in the state of Wisconsin. So I think, in general, if anything, it will probably be to my benefit [to refuse hearings].”

Johnson said letting Obama’s successor replace Scalia is best.

“If I have to vote, I’ll vote,” he said. “I don’t have any problem with that. But again, I recognize [the] reality that’s not going to happen. The fairest and most democratic process in terms of Supreme Court nominees is [to] let the American people have a voice.”

Tags campaigns Donald Trump GOP Republicans Ron Johnson Senate Wisconsin

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