MADISON — Last week, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, launched his “Ron Against Roe” tour, holding Senator Ron Johnson accountable for working to rip away reproductive freedoms for Wisconsinites. This week, Barnes launched a new ad highlighting Johnson’s support for an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the woman. The grassroots momentum behind Barnes continues, with the Barnes campaign reporting a $20.1 million fundraising haul in the third quarter with nearly half a million individual donations.

While Johnson hides from his dangerous anti-choice record, Mandela continues to fight for Wisconsinites’ rights to make personal medical decisions without the interference of politicians.

See what they’re saying: 

The Cap Times: Mandela Barnes launching statewide tour focused on abortion policy

  • Mandela Barnes is hitting the road — again.
  • The lieutenant governor and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate on Saturday will kick off a statewide tour in Green Bay aimed at “holding Ron Johnson accountable for his record of working to rip away Wisconsinites’ ability to access abortion,” his campaign told the Cap Times.
  • It’s time for Ron Johnson to answer for his record of endangering women and fighting to strip them of their rights,” Barnes said in a statement.
  • “Ron Against Roe,” as the Barnes’ campaign is branding the tour, comes after weeks of television ads from Johnson — in which he attacks the lieutenant governor’s record on crime — that have, in part, shifted the focus of the U.S. Senate race.
  • Barnes has said he believes the abortion access guaranteed by Roe vs. Wade — the U.S. Supreme Court’s former precedent establishing a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy — should be codified in federal law. He has also said lawmakers should not interfere with what he believes are decisions that should be made by women and their physicians.
  • The Barnes campaign pointed to Johnson’s past co-sponsorship of multiple national abortion ban bills and a bill that would have provided constitutional protections to people “at the moment of fertilization” as evidence that he is against abortion access. It also highlighted his decision to sign on to an amicus briefsupporting a Mississippi law that banned abortion without exceptions after 15 weeks that was challenged in a lawsuit as further proof. 

Wisconsin Public Radio: Democrats betting renewed attacks on GOP abortion views can help Barnes, Evers campaigns

  • On Saturday, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes’ U.S. Senate campaign launched a “Ron Against Roe” tour in Green Bay with more stops planned for Milwaukee, Racine, Madison and Eau Claire. The Barnes team has said the tour is aimed at “holding Ron Johnson accountable for his record of working to rip away Wisconsinites’ ability to access abortion.
  • The “Ron Against Roe” tour coincides with a new Barnes TV ad attacking Johnson for supporting a ban on abortion. 
  • “He co-sponsored a bill that makes no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the woman,” said the ad.  
  • [Chuck Chvala] said elections in Wisconsin “are decided in the last couple of weeks” and believes a redoubled effort to attack Johnson and Michels for their abortion views can make a difference in the state’s two highest-profile elections in November. 
  • “The bottom line, this is more important than all the other minor issues that are out there, most of which have very little to do or are not within the control of either a U.S. senator or governor,” Chvala said. “But what is within their control is to give women back their reproductive rights. And I think it will be a very powerful issue.”

UpNorthNews: Barnes going on offense against Johnson with focus on reproductive freedom

  • Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, is poised to launch a statewide tour exposing incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson’s extreme record on abortion.
  • The ruling by the high court is extraordinarily unpopular, the last Marquette University Law School Poll found that just 30% of state residents supported overturning Roe, with 63% opposed. Amongst independent voters, the split was even more pronounced, with just 28% supporting the overturning of Roe, and 66%opposing it.
  • Ahead of the tour, Barnes released a statement saying, It’s time for Ron Johnson to answer for his record of endangering women and fighting to strip them of their rights. He supported an abortion ban with no exceptions that could’ve put women and their doctors in jail. Ron can try to lie about his record, but Wisconsin voters know the truth – and we’ll hold him accountable for it in November.”

Fox 11: Barnes launches tour attacking Sen. Johnson’s stance on abortion

  • In a Green Bay gathering of his supporters Saturday afternoon, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes launched what his campaign is calling a “Ron Against Roe Tour.”
  • “Women are not free to make their own healthcare decisions,” said Barnes, outside of the office for Brown County Democrats. “This is a decision that Ron Johnson celebrated, where he said if women don’t like the laws in your state like our1849 criminal abortion ban then you can just move.”
  • “He’s had 12 years to show he actually cares about women’s health,” said Barnes. “He hasn’t. Now is way too late for him to start trying to do it.”

NBC News: Mandela Barnes launches ad targeting Ron Johnson on abortion

  • Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is launching his first negative ad of the Wisconsin Senate race Monday, targeting GOP Sen. Ron Johnson on abortion. 
  • “Johnson supported a ban on abortions,” a narrator says in the 30-second ad, shared first with NBC News. “He co-sponsored a bill that makes no exception for rape, incest or the life of a woman. And Johnson said if women don’t like it, they can move. The truth is it’s Ron Johnson who doesn’t belong in Wisconsin.”
  • The ad refers to Johnson co-sponsoring the “Life at Conception Act” in 2011 enshrining a “right to life or the right to life of each born and preborn human person” in the Constitution and allowing equal protections at “the moment of fertilization.”
  • The ad is part of a multimillion dollar campaign and will air on broadcast, cable and digital platforms throughout the state, per Barnes’ campaign.

The Journal Times: As Republicans focus on crime, Mandela Barnes in Racine shows support for strikers and abortion access

  • On Monday, both Planned Parenthood and Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes launched advertisements focused on Republican incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson’s pro-life position on abortion; Johnson supported the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and also co-sponsored a bill in 2011 that includes no exceptions to abortion bans.
  • Later Monday afternoon, Barnes rallied with “Moms For Mandela” supporters at Littleport Brewing Co., 214 Third Street, for an event that was part of the “Ron Against Roe” campaign tour. Littleport is becoming a hub for political events led by Democrats, having hosted Evers earlier in the campaign.

CNN: Wisconsin Democrats attempt to elevate abortion rights issue in competitive Senate and governor’s races

  • It was part of a major push Democrats are making to attempt to place the debate over abortion rights at the center of Wisconsin’s election this year. Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democrat who is challenging Johnson, this week launched a “Ron Against Roe” tour – in reference to the landmark 1973 abortion ruling overturned by a Supreme Court decision in late June – featuring a slate of events in which he is hammering Johnson over his opposition to abortion rights.

Channel 3000: Barnes’ ‘Ron Against Roe’ tour takes aim at Johnson on abortion

  • Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes stopped in Madison Tuesday as part of a tour taking aim at incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson’s position on abortion rights.
  • During Tuesday’s event, part of Barnes’ “Ron Against Roe” tour, the lieutenant governor and Senate hopeful blasted Johnson as “a senator who is hell-bent on taking peoples’ rights away, hell-bent on moving us backwards as a state, as a county, as a society.”
  • Johnson has co-sponsored legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. That bill would allow exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother.
  • If elected, Barnes said he would work to end the filibuster in the Senate to codify abortion rights at the federal level.
  • He also addressed Tuesday morning’s special legislative session that Republican lawmakers gaveled into and out of with no discussion on a proposal that would have begun the process to change the state’s Constitution to allow residents to put forth their own referenda. Proponents have hoped doing so would put abortion rights on the ballot for voters directly.

CNN: First on CNN: Barnes raises more than $20 million in third quarter of closely watched Wisconsin Senate race

  • The Democrat recently launched a statewide tour the campaign has dubbed “Ron Against Roe,” an effort it hopes will take advantage of opposition to the June Supreme Court ruling. 
  • Marquette’s polling found more than 60% of Wisconsin voters opposed that decision. Barnes also rolled out a new ad that attacks Johnson for supporting a 2011 bill that was introduced by Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker that would have enshrined “the right to life” upon conception.
  • “It’s Johnson’s views that are alarming. Johnson supported a ban on abortion, he cosponsored a bill that makes no exceptions for rape or incest or the life of the woman. And Johnson said if women don’t like it, they can move,” a narrator says in a new Barnes ad.
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