MADISON —  Today, National Security Leaders for America, a bipartisan group of former and retired senior public servants who dedicated their lives in defense of democracy, endorsed Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, candidate for U.S. Senate, ahead of the final January 6 hearing. 

“Ron Johnson attempted to overturn a free and fair election and claimed the insurrection at the Capitol was a ‘peaceful protest,’” said Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes. “I’m proud to have the endorsement of a group of leaders who will prioritize our democracy and that’s what I’ll fight for in the U.S. Senate.” 

“We’re endorsing Mandela Barnes because we trust him to uphold democracy, ensure national security, and protect our free and fair elections,” said John Rogers, Fmr. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense from Wisconsin and member of National Security Leaders for America.  

“Personally, I think the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in its front page editorial on Ron Johnson summed it up best when they said, ‘Sen. Ron Johnson’s reckless conspiracy mongering, stretching of the truth, unwillingness to accept election results and obeisance to the Trumpist right should disqualify him from public office.’ There is no doubt in my mind,” Rogers continued, “that Senator Johnson is a threat to Democracy and the principles for which our country stands.”


Ron Johnson’s Record of Threatening Democracy

Ron Johnson has repeatedly downplayed the violence at the January 6th attack on the Capitol that injured 140 police officers, earning a “Pants on Fire” rating from PolitiFact, shifted his story on his involvement in a scheme to deliver fake electors, and continued to spread conspiracy theories about the integrity of the 2020 election in an attempt to undermine faith in our democracy. 

Johnson is on the record again and again downplaying the violence:

  • CNN: “Ron Johnson falsely claims there was ‘no violence’ on Senate side of US Capitol on January 6”
  • Washington Post: “Sen. Ron Johnson plays down Capitol riots: ‘This didn’t seem like an armed insurrection to me’”

While Johnson has argued the the insurrectionists weren’t “armed,” reporting confirms protestors wielded firearms and other weapons: 

  • PolitiFact: Pants on Fire: Yes, Jan. 6 Capitol assault was an “armed insurrection”
    • “Johnson said the Jan. 6 Capitol riot “didn’t seem like an armed insurrection.” That’s ridiculous revisionist history.” 
  • “Capitol Protesters Were Armed With Variety of Weapons”
  • PolitiFact: “Johnson is drawing a largely meaningless distinction since the Capitol protesters got in by attacking police, injuring more than 100 of them, and breaking doors and windows — unquestionably violent actions.”
  • Washington Post: “Police union says 140 officers injured in Capitol riot” 

Johnson has also pushed election conspiracy theories aimed at undermining our democracy: 

  • Associated Press: “Johnson has also embraced conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, even though Biden’s win has been upheld by numerous courts, withstood partisan and independent investigations and weathered partial recounts in Wisconsin.”
  • Associated Press: “Johnson, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, also refused to say if he thought the election was legitimate, while admitting he had no proof of any illegal activity.”
  • New York Times: “The election is over, but Ron Johnson keeps promoting false claims of fraud.” 

Johnson has attempted to hide his involvement in a scheme to deliver fake electors: 

  • CNN: “This Republican senator keeps changing his story on the fake electors scheme”
  • Politico: “Ron Johnson tried to hand fake elector info to Mike Pence on Jan. 6, panel reveals”

And he refuses to say whether he’d accept the outcome of this fall’s elections:

  • Wisconsin State Journal: “Ron Johnson, Tim Michels won’t unconditionally commit to accepting 2022 election results”
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