Pro-lockdown Wisconsin Senate Democrat candidate Mandela Barnes mocked small business owners as “selfish” after the pandemic, a video unearthed by the Republican National Committee shows.
On the show Real Talk with Henry Sanders Madison365 in 2021, Barnes said business owners who wanted to serve customers during the pandemic were “selfish” because they were not thinking of “the larger group.”
“I shared this on Twitter… where someone took a picture of the protesters who was outside of the governor’s mansion. And it said, ‘Open my business.’ And they had a sign that said, ‘My business matters.’ The most important thing about the scene is the word ‘my — my, my, my,'” Barnes retold a story from 2020.
“That’s what I’ve been saying all along. Too many people are being selfish, where it is just, ‘my — my business.’ Not ‘your life,’ not ‘my neighbor’s life,’ but ‘my business’ and ‘how are you going to help me — me, me, me’ — instead of thinking about the larger group,” Barnes added:
Barnes, who was a community organizer before becoming Lt. Gov. of Wisconsin, is one of the most radical Democrats running for office in 2022.
He has also advocated for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), permitting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, giving in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants, and defunding “over-bloated” police departments. He favors an entirely government-run healthcare system, canceling the Senate filibuster, and packing the Supreme Court. He has also objected to felons losing the right to vote and has supported the Green New Deal.
Despite Barnes’s radical positions, he does not call himself a “progressive” Democrat anymore to “appear less polarizing” in his race against Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), New York magazine reported Wednesday.
Yet Barnes is endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Wisconsin State Rep. Supreme Moore Omokunde. Last year, on Instagram, Omokunde praised Assata Shakur, a convicted cop killer who fled to Cuba and has been applauded by Black Lives Matter.
Barnes has also avoided being questioned by the establishment media about his radical views. “Local reporters have publicly lamented that Barnes refuses to answer their questions at campaign events. He has a habit of foisting questions onto his staff, even when directly asked in person,” New York magazine outlined.
Polling shows Barnes has a slight two-point lead over Johnson, a gap that has been closing in recent weeks.