Johnson: Obama "neglected" talk on ISIS; agrees on global economy

(WEAU)
Published: Sep. 20, 2016 at 3:33 PM CDT
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U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said President Obama’s speech before the United National General Assembly “neglected” to reflect much language regarding the fight against Islamic terrorism.

Speaking with WEAU 13 News on Tuesday after the speech, Johnson – who is seeking a second term in the Senate – stated this speech occurred during his second stint as a representative to the U.N. General Assembly. The first time was in September of 2014, when Johnson said Obama “laid out his goal towards ISIS, which was to defeat it.”

"Back in that speech, he made a very forceful point that Islam has got to reject and repudiate and renounce Islamic terrorists – that perversion of their religion,” he said. “Today, he's said that real problems have been neglected early in the speech and then went on to the rest of the speech and kind of neglected what I would consider is the greatest destabilizing force in the world today.

“That's that perversion, that strain of Islamic terrorism disrupting so many lives and causing so much destruction."

In response to Johnson’s comments, the campaign of his opponent – former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold – said: "Russ remains the only candidate in this race to actually present a tough, smart plan to defeat ISIS and keep Americans safe. Sen. Johnson is failing to offer Wisconsinites specifics on how he'd keep them safe, other than to suggest another reckless ground invasion of 100,000 troops, including 25,000 Americans.”

Obama’s address Tuesday also touched on trade and how the United States can work with other nations to expand a global economy.

"We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration or we can retreat into a world sharply divided and ultimately in conflict,” Obama said. “Moreover, I believe that the acceleration of travel and technology and telecommunications - together with a global economy that depends on a global supply chain – makes it self-defeating, ultimately, for those who seek to reverse this progress. Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself."

Johnson, a business owner in Wisconsin since 1979, said he agreed with the president on this part of the speech.

"I think fair trade is beneficial to all parites involved – certainly in Wisconsin, our exports equal our imports, maintaining overseas markets making sure they are available to our ag culture and manufacture products is extremely important, but it does have to be fair trade,” he said. “So, I agree with the president in that free and fair trade is certainly what we should be doing as we try and work in a global economy, an integrated economy that really does require international cooperation.

“I've said repeatedly America has been a phenomenal force for business in the world. He basically used my exact same words I've used the last six years. When he said that America has been a force for good in the world, that's great. But, the only way we can be a force for good in the world is if we have a strong economy and we're able to project our values and leadership. That would be a good thing, in terms of peace and stability."

Feingold’s campaign rebuked Johnson’s comment.

“In fact, Senator Johnson has failed to show Wisconsin's middle class and working families that he's listening to them at all,” his campaign said in comments to WEAU 13 News. “Sen. Johnson continues to duck and dodge the TPP with his reelection in mind -- refusing to tell working Wisconsinites where he stands on the raw deal. Russ firmly opposes the TPP and has stood against trade deals like NAFTA in the past because he knows just how disastrous they can be for Wisconsin's middle income and working families."


U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said President Obama’s speech before the United National General Assembly “neglected” to reflect much language regarding the fight against Islamic terrorism.

Speaking with WEAU 13 News on Tuesday after the speech, Johnson – who is seeking a second term in the Senate – stated this speech occurred during his second stint as a representative to the U.N. General Assembly. The first time was in September of 2014, when Johnson said Obama “laid out his goal towards ISIS, which was to defeat it.”

"Back in that speech, he made a very forceful point that Islam has got to reject and repudiate and renounce Islamic terrorists – that perversion of their religion,” he said. “Today, he's said that real problems have been neglected early in the speech and then went on to the rest of the speech and kind of neglected what I would consider is the greatest destabilizing force in the world today.

“That's that perversion, that strain of Islamic terrorism disrupting so many lives and causing so much destruction."

Part of Obama’s address also touched on trade and how the United States can work with other nations to expand a global economy.

"We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration or we can retreat into a world sharply divided and ultimately in conflict,” Obama said. “Moreover, I believe that the acceleration of travel and technology and telecommunications - together with a global economy that depends on a global supply chain – makes it self-defeating, ultimately, for those who seek to reverse this progress. Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself."

Johnson, a business owner in Wisconsin since 1979, said he agreed with the president on this part of the speech.

"I think fair trade is beneficial to all parites involved – certainly in Wisconsin, our exports equal our imports, maintaining overseas markets making sure they are available to our ag culture and manufacture products is extremely important, but it does have to be fair trade,” he said. “So, I agree with the president in that free and fair trade is certainly what we should be doing as we try and work in a global economy, an integrated economy that really does require international cooperation.

“I've said repeatedly America has been a phenomenal force for business in the world. He basically used my exact same words I've used the last six years. When he said that America has been a force for good in the world, that's great. But, the only way we can be a force for good in the world is if we have a strong economy and we're able to project our values and leadership. That would be a good thing, in terms of peace and stability."

WEAU has reached out to Johnson’s Democrat opponent – former Sen. Russ Feingold, but have yet to receive comment.