U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says if he were to run for office again, it’d be to serve as an anti-Dem “firewall” — but that’s not something he’s thinking about until after the presidential race.
“I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. I really have no time to worry about beyond 2020,” he said.
The Oshkosh Republican previously pledged to limit himself to two terms in the Senate. He told reporters Saturday at the state GOP convention his preference would still be two terms, though he noted the “reality as I was expecting (it) has changed” after the last election when Republicans lost the House.
If he were to run for office again, he said he’d do it to be a “firewall against what Democrats are proposing nowadays.”
“I’m certainly frightened by their proposals and that’s about the only thing that would make me change my mind if I really felt in some way, shape or form that I could be a bulwark against those types of very destructive policies on the left,” he told reporters.
Asked if both he and former Gov. Scott Walker could end up running for statewide office in 2022, Johnson responded: “Anything’s possible.”
“Never say never,” Johnson said on the possibility of running for guv or a third term in the U.S. Senate, adding: “The world changes, situations change, never say never.”
He also anticipated President Trump’s re-election campaign would be “more efficient” than typical ones, particularly in how it deploys staff and resources at the state level in Wisconsin.
Johnson added Trump’s been “a fundraising juggernaut” heading into 2020.
“They’ll have greater resources, and I know they’ll focus on Wisconsin,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Of the more than 20 Democratic presidential candidates who’ve declared in the growing field, Johnson said former Vice President Joe Biden would be the biggest threat to Trump in Wisconsin.
He pointed to Biden’s name recognition and likability, adding Biden would be the equivalent of a sales manager in a business.
“I think he’s developed a fair amount of positive political capital,” Johnson said. “But at the same time, he’s also been wrong policywise on so many foreign policy as well as domestic policy issues.”
On combating Russian interference in elections, Johnson credited the Trump administration for working to counter potential cyber attacks and provide support to state and local election officials.
“We need to be aware of this, we need to be concerned about it, but let’s not blow it out of proportion either,” he said. “If this was some great election interference campaign on the behalf of Russia to poison our politics, we’re doing Putin’s work for him.”
But he didn’t say the country needed to take additional steps to combat potential future interference, saying while “while we can never rest and say we’ve got this covered,” federal agencies are “doing a great job” to address the issues.