Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate candidates debated for the first time Friday night in Green Bay. Incumbent Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Russ Feingold answered questions from a media panel in a one hour debate sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.
The very first question – where they stand on their parties’ presidential candidates. Johnson said he’s had his differences with Donald Trump. “Certainly I’m not going to defend the indefensible, which truthfully is kind of a marked difference between myself and Senator Feingold, who must the last person in America who thinks Hillary Clinton is trusthworthy,” he said, adding that he’s “supporting the areas of agreement” with the Republican presidential nominee.
“This is no person to be a role model for the people of our country, and frankly I think it will be very frightening for the rest of the world if we elected Donald Trump,” said Feingold, who said supporting Trump “is completely irresponsible.”
The candidates also responded to questions about terrorism, Social Security, student debt, gun control, health care costs and more during the Green Bay debate, the first time the two have debated since the 2010 campaign. Feingold is trying to unseat Johnson, after the Oshkosh businessman knocked him out of the Senate six years ago.
A Marquette University Law School poll released this week showed Feingold ahead of Johnson by just two points among likely voters, well within the margin of error. Other recent polls also show the race is extremely close, with less than four weeks to go before the election. Libertarian candidate Phil Anderson was not invited to the debate.