GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – In two weeks, voters will go to the polls to elect a new president. Here in Wisconsin, voters will also decide whether to re-elect Republican Ron Johnson to U.S. Senate or send Democrat Russ Feingold back to Washington where he represented the Badger State for three terms before being unseated by Johnson in 2010.
It’s an important race as Republicans are fighting to keep control of the Senate. There are 24 Republican-held seats and 10-Democratic held seats up for grabs this election.
The website RealClear Politics has calculated an average of six U.S. Senate polls conducted in October. The polling data shows Feingold with a 5.3 percent lead over Johnson.
Sen. Johnson stopped by the WBAY studio Monday for a live interview on Action 2 News This Morning. Watch the full interview above.
Sen. Johnson stressed the main difference between the candidates is their philosophy on the size of government.
“Every one of his plans is going to grow government, and when government is big it’s going to demand more of your hard-earned money,” Johnson said. “I want to limit the size of government and have it focused on the big things. National security, homeland security, basic infrastructure. I want to make sure that Wisconsinites keep more of their hard-earned money.”
Sen. Johnson said that he will not run for a third term.
“One final term. That’s it, two terms. I’m self limiting myself,” Johnson said. “Sen. Feingold is of course going for a 4th. I don’t know, is he going to stick around for a 5th or a 6th?”
When Action 2 News This Morning had Sen. Feingold on in September, we played clips from Sen. Johnson and had him respond. This morning, we played clips from Sen. Feingold and asked Sen. Johnson to respond:
Feingold: “I had a plan to deal with ISIS, Senator Johnson had no plan at all, and my plan includes increasing the resources of the FBI, they lost ground during the economic difficulties, and Senator Johnson hasn’t lifted a finger to try to increase their resources. Surely the chairman of Homeland Security should be concerned about this.”
Johnson: “Another false attack. You realize President Obama has twice appointed me as the U.S. representative to the United Nations General Assembly. I was just there a couple weeks ago meeting with leaders, ambassadors, foreign ministers from the Gulf states. They’re begging for American leadership. They’ll provide the ground troops. They will go in and they will defeat ISIS and they will hold the territory if we have enough American leadership. The problem with Sen. Feingold’s plan is that President Obama’s plan is not working. And even worse, he’s a complete hypocrite on this. He says he wants special forces but when he was there in office out of 18 years, 11 times he voted against authorizing the military. That’s top priority government.
He also says he wants intelligence, yet he was the only senator to vote against giving law enforcement the tools they need to defend against international terrorists.”
DONALD TRUMP AND HILLARY CLINTON
Feingold: “Many Republican senators have done that, recognizing that this man [Trump] absolutely should not be president. Everybody knows that. Ron Johnson knows he shouldn’t be president. And yet for political reasons he’s hanging on to this.”
Johnson: “Where is the outrage about what Secretary Clinton has done that disqualifies her from being President of the United States. Her dereliction of duty in Benghazi cost four Americans their lives and then she lied to the surviving family members. Looked them right in the eye and lied and basically hatched her cover up story.
And her email scandal, I’m chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Seven of those emails are so sensitive, I don’t even have the security clearance for them. So Secretary Clinton is completely disqualified for office.
I’ve disagreed with our nominee. I’m not going to defend the indefensible. But on the big things, growing our economy; strengthening our military; actually defeating ISIS; securing our border; appointing judges, not super-legislators, not liberal activists to the Supreme Court. On the big things I agree with our nominee.”
Action 2 News: So you’re saying you do support Donald Trump?
Johnson: “I support those areas of agreement.”