Debate: Ron Johnson Slams Mandela Barnes for Inciting 2020 Kenosha Riot

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., left, and his Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes take notes before a televised debate, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) slammed Democrat Mandela Barnes for inciting the 2020 Kenosha riot in Friday night’s U.S. Senate for Wisconsin debate.

Johnson said:

Let’s take a look at what happened in Kenosha. The day after the first night of rioting, when the used car lot was set on fire, instead of trying to calm things down, the Lt. Governor gave a press conference and said it felt like it meant that it was carried out against one of our community members.

“He incited the riot. He and the governor didn’t provide the manpower to stop the riots,” Johnson said of the local government. “If you are going to focus on a riot, let’s focus on 570 riots and two thousand police officers injured.”

Barnes defended himself by saying a police officer was hit in the head during the January 6 incident.

“[An officer] was hit in the head with fire a extinguisher,” Barnes said. “When we talk about respect for law enforcement, let’s talk about the officers he [Johnson] left behind because of insurrection he supported.”

“There is so much more we need to do to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals,” Barnes added.

Barnes wanted to ban hollow point bullets, which would essentially ban deer hunting. He also introduced a bill that would ban assault weapons.

Recent polling shows Johnson leading in the polls by five points. Just two months ago, Barnes was leading Johnson by a moderate margin. But Barnes’ radical record seems to be working against him.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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