Ron Johnson booed after curious answer at end of debate
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) received boos from the audience during his final debate on Thursday against Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes while answering a question about what he found admirable about his opponent.
During the second and final debate held at Marquette University, Barnes answered the question first, saying that “the senator has proven to be a family man, and I think that’s admirable. You know, that’s absolutely to be respected. He speaks about his family. [He’s] done a lot to provide for them. I absolutely respect that.”
The senator also commended the lieutenant governor’s family and upbringing but later used the question to attack his opponent.
“I mean, likewise, I appreciate the fact that Lt. Gov. Barnes had loving parents, a school teacher, father who worked third shift. So he had a good upbringing,” Johnson said.
“I guess what puzzles me about that is with that upbringing, why has he turned against America?” he asked before receiving boos from the audience.
The Wisconsin Senate race is considered one of the most closely watched races for the upper chamber this cycle and will play a significant role in whether Republicans can retake the majority there. Johnson is viewed as a particularly vulnerable Republicans, and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss up.”
A Marquette University Law School poll released this week showed Johnson leading Barnes 52 percent to 46 percent among likely voters.