Multimillionaire U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson is a self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate who was endorsed as an unknown by the Republican Party of Wisconsin after just one week in the Senate race. Now Wisconsin voters are finding out what happens when an unknown becomes known, and when empty rhetoric meets reality.
Johnson’s own hometown paper, the Oshkosh Northwestern put it best when it wrote last weekend:
“You quickly get a sense that the same attributes that make Johnson appealing, and allowed him unexpectedly to get the Republican nomination last month, also make him vulnerable and simply no match for incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold.”
According to a separate report in Ron Johnson’s hometown newspaper, the Oshkosh Northwestern, Johnson led an effort to bring extremist education “expert” Charles Murray to speak to education and business leaders in Oshkosh – leading the community to demand an apology for Murray’s elitist, offensive theories. Murray has made a career trying to “resume some of the most poisonous battles of the late 1960s and ’70s,” by making the case that some groups and ethnicities are more superior to others for biological or genetic reasons.
After Johnson gave a gaffe-filled interview last week with the same Tea Party folks that provided Johnson his meteoric rise, he ran into a Tea Party buzz saw and as a result, has now canceled other Tea Party events. As the Northwestern wrote this weekend, “Ultimately, the interview shows that the same forces that propel you to the top can also lop you off.”
Now Johnson has followed the lead of fellow Tea Party candidates around the country such as Sharron Angle and Rand Paul, by refusing to take questions from both state and national reporters. And even Republican Party Chair Reince Preibus was forced to admit at a luncheon with reporters last week that he couldn’t defend or explain Johnson’s stands on the issues, saying simply, “There’s going to be plenty of time to ask all the questions of Ron Johnson.”