Final debate in Wisconsin Senate is going to be ugly


Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Mandela Burns had the same goal when they met for the second and final debate on Thursday.

The Wisconsin Senate election, which has featured months of attack ads, has gotten even more ugly at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The two candidates accused each other of being abortion extremists by not supporting law enforcement and traveling on taxpayer’s dime.

The tone of the night was even more jarring when the two candidates were asked to name something laudable about their rivals.

Burns said Johnson “proved to be a homely man.” Johnson first said, “I appreciate the fact that Lieutenant Burns had loving parents,” and then, “What puzzles me about that upbringing is why he turned his back on America.” Aimed at?” he added.

His reaction provoked boos from the crowd.

Mr Johnson is widely regarded as the most vulnerable Republican senator to be re-elected in November. With consistently low approval ratings, Johnson and his Republican supporters had little choice but to try to bring Burns down to his level of popularity. They attacked him with negative advertisements for being vulnerable to crime, and Democrats portrayed Johnson as a no-contact plutocrat serving his wealthy donors.

Despite a rocky start, Johnson has led the polls in recent weeks, raising concerns about the race among Democrats state and nationally. They’re leading by about 3% on average, and it’s still a close race.

Johnson and Burns were allowed to respond within 30 seconds of being named. The audience was at times so loud with cheers and mockery of the candidates that the emcee was forced to ask them to be quiet.

The two politicians were questioned on inflation, abortion, social security and many other hotly debated topics. On the crime issue, Johnson said Burns was a “huge supporter” of the campaign to defund the police and called him out on “violent” prisoners being paroled by Governor Tony Evers’ administration. criticized.

Burns replied, “No police officer in this country has been more demoralized than the one in the U.S. Capitol on January 6.” He accused Johnson of hypocrisy, saying he voted for the Step Act.

Burns has previously voiced support for cutting funding for law enforcement, but said during the campaign that he would not support defunding the police.

Johnson and Burns also fired at each other about their career experiences. Mr. Burns, who has long touted the fact that he owns a plastics business as evidence that he knows how to create jobs, said Mr. Johnson was married to the company. He said he just did. “

Amid inflation and soaring gas prices, Mr Johnson attempted to turn the campaign into a White House referendum, asking, “Has your situation gotten better or worse since the Democrats took office?” I asked. Burns, on the other hand, alleges Johnson is a threat to Social Security and democracy, pointing to links between his chief of staff and the bogus electoral vote scheme.

Johnson has denied any involvement in the effort. He initially planned to vote against the 2020 election results, but eventually voted to approve them.

“He tried to send a fake electoral vote to the vice president, but he said his involvement was over in a matter of seconds, as if he could use the five-second rule to overthrow the election,” Burns said. .