CLEVELAND, OH — Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) took aim at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for remarks she had made in response to him during a joint hearing of the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees in 2013 on the 2012 terror attacks on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Johnson, who is in a contest against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) for his seat in this election cycle, went on to emphasize the importance of national security, noting the differences that it does make in selecting a commander-in-chief.
Transcript as follows:
Ladies and gentlemen, “what difference at this point does it make?” I am the guy that got under her skin and provoked that infamous response from Hillary Clinton by asking a pretty simple question: Why didn’t you just pick up the phone and call the survivors?
But instead of doing that, she hatched a cover-up story and repeatedly lied to the American people. She even lied to the surviving family members of America’s fallen heroes.
Think about that for a moment.
She looked those family members right in the eye and then she lied. And of course, Hillary’s cold, calculated lying continues. If we can’t trust her to tell us the truth, how can we possibly trust her to lead America?
So let me tell you and Hillary Clinton what difference it does make when America’s leaders cannot be trusted and when our commander in chief fails miserably by employing a strategy of peace through withdrawal instead of achieving peace through strength.
It made a difference to the young Yazidi woman I met, who was captured and brutalized by ISIS barbarians, the joy of life hauntingly absent in her eyes.
It made a difference to the travelers passing through airports in Brussels, in Istanbul, who just wanted to get home to their family and friends.
It made a difference to the ordinary Americans sharing holiday cheer at a Christmas party in San Bernardino.
It made a difference to the young men and women dancing on a summer night at a club in Orlando.
And it made a difference to the families watching fireworks at a celebration of freedom in Nice.
These are just a few of the examples of Islamic terrorists. Let me repeat that: Radical Islamic terrorists slaughtering and brutalizing their innocent victims.
So the question is, when will America actually confront this terrible reality? We certainly won’t if Democrats win in November.
In Wisconsin, I’m running against Russ Feingold, a man who even after 9/11 was the only senator to vote against giving law enforcement the tools they need to help stop international terror. During his 18- year Senate career, he also voted against authorizing our military 11 separate times. Now he’s asking Wisconsinites to give him a fourth term, just as Hillary Clinton is asking America to give her Obama’s third term.
The world is simply too dangerous to elect either of them. Instead, America needs strong leadership, leaders who will jump-start our economy, secure our borders, strengthen our military and accomplish the goal that President Obama set out over 22 months ago. We must defeat ISIS and then remain fully committed to destroying Islamic terrorists wherever they hide.
It doesn’t have to be like this. We shouldn’t have to live in fear. But if we want to change that reality, we must understand exactly what is at stake. This is a fight for freedom. This is not somebody else’s fight; this is our fight and it is a fight that we absolutely must win.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence understand that these must be America’s top priorities. They’ll be strong leaders working with Republicans in the House and Senate to achieve a goal that can unite us all, a safe, a prosperous and secure America.
Our future hangs in the balance. We must unify, work tirelessly and together save this great nation.
So God bless your efforts and God bless America. Thank you.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor