Johnson: True maverick would have opposed stimulus, health care overhaul
GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson doesn’t buy Feingold’s reputation as a maverick, claiming the Middleton Dem didn’t live up to that billing when Americans most needed it.
Johnson tells WisPolitics.com in a new interview that if Feingold were a true maverick, he would have stood up to his party in 2009 and voted against the stimulus package and the health care overhaul.
“A professional politician like Sen. Feingold, he does not understand the private sector economy. He really doesn’t know what it takes to create jobs,” Johnson said. “He thinks government is a solution to everything. I think freedom and the free market are the solutions for most things.”
Johnson, who has rocketed to frontrunner status for the GOP nomination in the Senate race in his first bid for public office of any kind, is just now starting to make his policy positions known.
In this interview, he predicted the legislation will not only be a budget buster, but will stifle innovation in the medical field.
Johnson said his daughter’s medical difficulties as a young girl are a particular motivator for him on the issue. She was born with a heart defect that required surgery right after she was born and again when she was 8 months old. Johnson said he sought out the best care available for his daughter and complained the health care law pushed through by Dems will restrict that freedom for Americans.
Some critics in the blogosphere have seized on that story to question whether others would actually have that freedom under the old system or only the well off.
But Johnson said he had the same insurance available to other employees at his company, Pacur. His daughter is now 27 and working as a nurse in a neonatal care unit.
“I had nothing special,” Johnson said of his insurance coverage.
On other issues, Johnson:
- Describes himself as "pro-life,'' saying he believes in a “culture of life.” He said he believes life begins at the moment of conception and opposes abortion except to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest.
- Believes in limiting marriage to between a man and a woman.
- Believes in the freedom of religion, but not the “freedom from religion” and said the founders believed for American to survive, it needs a moral and educated public.
- Opposes deadlines for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan or Iraq. “If you’re not committed to winning, you shouldn’t commit our troops in the first place.”
- Said the Wall Street reform bill now before Congress fails to address institutions that are “too big to fail.”
- Called the science on climate change “totally unsettled” and he “does not buy the fact that man is causing something.” He expressed concern over proposals like cap-and-trade that would do damage to the economy over “a theory.”
Johnson said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a “real tragedy,” adding his first thought after news broke of the spill was how much safer and environmentally friendly it would be for companies to drill in places like ANWR rather than pushing rigs into deep water.
“The bottom line is that we are an oil-based economy. There’s nothing we’re going to do to get off of that for many, many years,” Johnson said. “We have to be realistic and recognize that fact. We have to get the oil where it is, but we have to do it responsibly.”
Listen to the full interview here.