MADISON — Tonight, across Wisconsin and the country, those tuning into the debate between Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, candidate for U.S. Senate, and self-serving multi-millionaire Ron Johnson agreed that Barnes emerged as the clear winner of tonight’s debate.

From slamming Johnson for cosponsoring an abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest, to holding Johnson’s feet to the fire for threatening Social Security and Medicare while prioritizing his wealthy donors, Barnes was the clear winner of tonight’s debate. Johnson ducked and dodged, from failing to explain why he backs ripping away a woman’s right to choose to his downplaying of the violence at the insurrection on January 6th. 

Here’s what folks had to say about Barnes’ clear victory as he stood up for working-class Wisconsinites and called out Johnson for turning his back on Wisconsin:

Johnson’s Anti-Choice Record: 

  • @PPact: When people show you who they are, believe them. Tonight @RonJohnsonWI showed once again he is an anti-abortion extremist. Meanwhile @TheOtherMandela has proved that he’ll fight to protect and expand abortion access. The choice is clear, Wisconsin. #WISen
  • @HRC_WI: Ron Johnson said that if you don’t like Wisconsin’s criminal ban on abortion, you can move out of the state. How about we build a Wisconsin where all people can live, thrive, and make their own health care decisions? #WISen #abortionrights #lgbt #lgbtq
  • @PPact: Ron Johnson can’t be trusted. Wisconsin needs a senator who will respect your right to marry who you love and make the health care decisions that you choose. #WISen
  • @SarahforWI: Ron Johnson co-sponsored eight federal abortion bans. EIGHT. Vote for @TheOtherMandela—he’ll fight to protect reproductive freedom in the Senate. #wisen
  • @WIExaminer: .@RonJohnsonWI repeats his support for a referendum on abortion, which Republicans just refused to take up when @GovEvers called them into session to do so
  • @SatyaForMadison: Ron Johnson can’t hide the fact that he backed EIGHT abortion bans…including one without exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the woman. He is no business being a senator. It’s time to send @TheOtherMandela to DC. #wisen
  • @wiworkingfam: Another lie from @SenRonJohnson.  The first chance Ron Jon gets he is voting to ban abortion nationwide. He won’t even say what his positions are in the debate. #wbadebate #wisen

Johnson’s Threats to Social Security and Medicare:

  • @BenWikler: As Mandela Barnes just pointed out, Ron Johnson compared Social Security to “candy.” It’s true! Johnson went on to explain that the candy is rotting the nation’s teeth and causing an infection, and he’s here with a drill. Watch:
  • @MarkPocan: Great US Debate in WI!  @TheOtherMandela supports strengthening social security and raising the minimum wage. @SenRonJohnson wants to put the money that you’ve paid into social security all your life on the chopping block and eliminate the minimum wage. Big contrast!
  • @DNCWarRoom: A friendly reminder: @SenRonJohnson wants to put Wisconsinites’ hard-earned Social Security benefits ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK EVERY YEAR.
  • @WisDems: Here’s the thing about @TheWorstSenator Ron Johnson: He wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block and said he wants to send seniors back to work instead of retiring with dignity. Wisconsin deserves better. #WISen  
  • @TheWorstSenator: FACT: Johnson has said he wants to put Social Security on the chopping block every single year, threatening funding for the program that Wisconsin retirees’ depend on. #wbadebate 
  • @wiworkingfam: Ron Johnson knows that his position is unpopular but he doesn’t care and lies about it. He would rather cut taxes for rich people than save social security.  #wbadebate #wisen
  • @BoldProgressive: Here’s the truth about Ron Johnson’s record on Social Security and Medicare:
    • ➡️ Wants to make these programs discretionary funds
    • ➡️ Voted to raise the retirement age to 70 
    • ➡️ Suggested sending seniors back to work
    • ➡️ Voted against capping Medicare Rx prices
    • #WISen

Johnson Turning His Back on Working Families:

  • @ForOurFutureWI: We deserve a senator with a real plan to ease the pressure of rising costs of living- that’s Mandela Barnes! #WISen
  • @katierosenberg: I’m still chewing on the fact that raising the minimum wage was called price fixing tonight by a sitting senator. #WIsen #DebateNight
  • @JasonRRae: Multimillionaire Ron Johnson and his GOP dark money donors can lie all they want about @TheOtherMandela. Mandela is the son of a union home and he is going to the Senate to make real change for working people. #wisen
  • @BenWikler: Johnson says he supports broadband and has gotten federal funding for broadband… but the guy voted against the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill—which funded two biggest investments in broadband expansion in history.
  • @DJJudd: Lieutenant Governor Barnes fires back at Senator Ron Johnson over comments he’s made downplaying the January 6th Insurrection at the Capitol, referencing “140 officers that he left behind because of an insurrection that he supported.”
  • @Danielle_Melfi: While Ron Johnson stumbled trying to defend his record of voting against the interests of Wisconsinites time and time again, @TheOtherMandela made clear tonight that he’ll champion working people and protect our freedoms from out of touch politicians #wisen
  • @DanRShafer: People tonight got the chance to see Mandela Barnes for the positive, reform-minded candidate he is and not the person Ron Johnson’s wealthy donors have paid handsomely to portray him to be. That’s a big win for @TheOtherMandela
  • @SatyaForMadison: @TheOtherMandela is the son of a public school teacher and a third shift auto factory worker and he has spent 10 years+ fighting for working people. He understands our struggles – because he’s one of us. And I am all in on sending him to the Senate. #wisen
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