MADISON — Tonight, as viewers tuned in across Wisconsin and the country, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, candidate for U.S. Senate, held self-serving politician Ron Johnson accountable for turning his back on working-class Wisconsinites and his dangerous record.
From slamming Johnson for cosponsoring an abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest, to calling out Johnson’s attempt to subvert the will of the people on Jan. 6, Barnes was once again the clear winner of the night.
Here’s what folks said about Barnes’ commanding and dominant performance:
Johnson’s Attacks On Reproductive Rights:
- @NYTBlake: Ron Johnson’s idea of having a “single-issue, one-time referendum” to solve the abortion debate “once and for all” is … not in keeping with the entire history of how that issue has played out.
- @AJBayatpour: As he did last week, Sen. Johnson doesn’t specify when he thinks abortion should be illegal. Instead directs voters to his website and calls for a state-level referendum. He ducks a follow-up about the legislature gaveling out of a session on allowing such a referendum in WI.
- @PPact: Here’s Ron Johnson in his own words saying that he doesn’t care about Wisconsin families. Ron Johnson doesn’t represent Wisconsin. #WISen
- @benwikler: Mandela Barnes very clear: we need the protections of Roe back.
Ron Johnson spinning like a top: says he wants a referendum. But opposed Gov. Evers proposal to actually have a referendum. Reality is, he’s backed 8 national abortion ban bills.
- @rahnamepting: Ron Johnson says abortion should be left up to the states, but has cosponsored national abortion ban legislation 8 times. The GOP doesn’t think abortion should be up to the federal government, the states, or individuals. They think it should be up to them. #WISendebate
- @JasonRRae: We NEED a reproductive rights champion like @TheOtherMandela in the Senate. It is clear from the #WISen debate that Ron Johnson is just too extreme for Wisconsin.
- @nadaelmikashfi: Ron Johnson’s record on abortion:
- Supported every other version of Graham’s abortion ban
- Co-sponsored a bill that would have criminalize abortion
- Said people “can move” if they can’t get health care
- Called overturning Roe “a victory” #wisen
Johnson’s Failure to Protect Democracy:
- @DanielBice: Woah. Ron Johnson accuses the FBI of “setting him up” with a “corrupt” briefing several years ago. FBI officials said they were giving him a defensive briefing letting him know that he was at risk of becoming a Russian asset.
- @MEPFuller: “The FBI set me up” is a helluva closing message for your campaign.
- @NYTBlake: Barnes drawing some blood there against Johnson on a question about the war in Ukraine. Johnson, who has at times made positive noises about Putin, notes that he was there at Zelensky’s inauguration.
- @AVindman: Ron Johnson, the Senator from WI that’s up for reelection, tried to use fake electors to overturn the election…he defends insurrectionists who injured 140 Capitol police officers, doubling down LAST WEEK. We have to send @theothermandelato the Senate.
- @justinbaragona: “The FBI set me up!” That’s Ron Johnson’s closing pitch to Wisconsin voters.
- @awbozzi: Ron Johnson’s support for political violence and attacks on police is devastating for him. #wisen
- @BoldProgressive: ON UKRAINE: “We can’t trust Senator Johnson to protect democracy abroad because we can’t even trust Senator Johnson to protect democracy at home.” – @TheOtherMandela #WISen
Johnson Turning His Back On Working People:
- @DanielBice: Best line so far. Barnes said the biggest accomplishment Johnson had so far in business was saying, “I do.” He married into his business.
- @TheWorstSenator: FACT: Ron Johnson said he wouldn’t “try to persuade a Wisconsin manufacturer to place more than 1,000 new jobs in his hometown.” #WISen
- @ForOurFuture: Ron Johnson loves to claim that he can relate to working-class Wisconsinites, but he’s devoted his entire political career to enriching himself, his wealthy donors and special interests like big oil. #WISEN #WISenateDebate
- @therecount: “The biggest achievement in business was [WI Sen.] Ron Johnson saying, ‘I do.’ He married into his business. He didn’t start that from the ground-up.” — WI Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes (D) in the #WISen debate mocks Johnson’s (R) boasts of business success.
- @WiWorkingFam: Here’s the truth. If you’re a multi-millionaire, electing Ron Johnson means you have an ally in Congress. But if you’re a working class person — you will be left behind. @TheOtherMandela is one of us. That’s why we’re with him.
- @StopBigMoney: Ron Johnson rewrote the tax code to give multi-millionaires like him and his wealthy donors MILLIONS in tax breaks. The same millionaires are now spending to re-elect him. #WIsen
- @votevets: With the next debate for #WIsen tonight, the people of Wisconsin deserve to know who Ron Johnson is serving—HIMSELF and his donors. VOTE. HIM. OUT.
- @dabbs346: Mandela Barnes drags Ron Johnson: “Working class families are footing the bill for millionaire lifestyles and it needs to stop. #wisen
- @kelsientaggart: Don’t forget. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has spent his time voting for tax deductions for his donors and the wealthy but not for Wisconsin families. #WISen
- @bess_w: The only thing Ron Johnson can claim he’s done for WI is the 2017 tax bill. Which, fun fact, didn’t do much to help working people. #WISen
- @itschintanhere: Ron Johnson doesn’t care about deficit spending. He voted for billions in tax cuts for himself and his wealthy donors. #WISen
Johnson Threatening Social Security and Medicare:
- @BoldProgressive: Ron Johnson says he wants to “save Social Security.” But just last week, FDR’s own grandson—James Roosevelt Jr.—wrote to our members that Johnson is a “extremist” who would destroy his grandfather’s legacy. #WISen
- @TheWorstSenator: FACT: Ron Johnson wants to subject Social Security and Medicare to budget cuts—the very programs hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites rely on after paying into them for decades. #WISen
- @JasonRRae: 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 recipients’ drug prices