Johnson preps for debates

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BELOIT — The General Election is six weeks away, and Sen. Ron Johnson is touring the state, meeting people and preparing for two debates with his Democrat opponent Russ Feingold.

“To me, this is really where the election starts,” Johnson said during a visit to the Beloit Daily News Monday.

He said as the election draws near, he must balance his time between his Senate workload and his campaign workload. But, he noted he is a hard worker, which he believes is a distinguishing difference between himself and his opponent.

“I’m a citizen legislator. I built a business as a private citizen, and I’ve gotten real results during my time in the Senate,” the Republican senator said.

Johnson will face Feingold in two upcoming debates — on Oct. 14 in Green Bay and on Oct. 18 in Milwaukee. He said the debates are important so citizens can see the differences between the candidates.

“How do you grow the economy — That’s what the whole debate should be about,” Johnson said. “He (Feingold) voted for tax increases. Those are the policies that drive jobs overseas.”

Johnson’s formula for improving the economy is to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and revise the tax code to make it fair. If the economy is revised, then the country will have more funds for the military and more resources to battle threats such as ISIS. He said since 2009, the U.S. economy has grown by an average of 2 percent a year. He believes that growth should be greater and it can grow at a faster rate if the right policies are in place.

He said he is concerned about income inequality, but it is regulations on business that have been a drag on the economy.

When asked if raising the minimum wage wouldn’t be a solution to income inequality, Johnson said that would cause jobs to be eliminated.

If the minimum wage was increased to $10.10 an hour, which is President Obama’s proposal, it would result in a half million to a million jobs being lost, he said. He added, if the minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour, more than 6 million jobs would be lost, Johnson said.

“The way to grow wages is to have a robust economy,” Johnson said.

Regarding President Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, Johnson said it is not up to him to bring his nomination to a vote. But, if the nomination was brought to the Senate, he would vote against Garland.

“He has proven to be hostile to second amendment rights, and I want to fight to protect second amendment rights,” Johnson said.

Johnson had visited Performance Micro Tool in Janesville Monday as he made campaign stops in Rock County.

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