tv Campaign 2022 Wisconsin U.S. Senate Debate CSPAN October 14, 2022 10:01am-11:01am EDT
c-span, your unfiltered view of politics. ♪ >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including sparklight. >> the greatest town on earth is a place you call home. at sparkly, it is our home to. we are facing our greatest challenge, that is why sparklight is working around the clock to keep you connected. we are doing our part so it is easier to do yours. >> sparklight supports c-sn as a public service along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. ♪ >> wisconsin senator ron johnson and mandela barnes, his democratic challenger, the 2022 west senate race participated in a debate hosted by ut nj tv in
milwaukee. ahead of this year's midterm elections. m arquette v your moderators, charles -- >> thank you for joining us tonight for wisconsin u.s. senate debate. we have a great audience tonight. >> is take a moment to say thank you for those that are joining us. that means you can clap. [applause] as you can see we have a full house tonight, this debate is being forecast from superior to eau claire, madison to green bay, this is -- we are welcoming a national audience with c-span watching. >> let's go over the rules agreed to by each candidate, they have six seconds for opening and closing statements, their six seconds -- 60 seconds
to answer questions. if a candidate runs overtime this is what you will hear. if an opponent refers to another candidate in their answer the candidate will get 30 seconds for a rebuttal. each candidate will have a one-time 62nd rebuttal -- 60 second rebuttal. mr. johnson, you will get one minute, you get to go first. >> thank you. i would first like to thank wtmj-tv for hosting this debate. this election offers a clear choice. i have a lifetime expense raising a family, grading a business, creating good paying and factoring jobs in wisconsin. i have worked hard all my life. i began my taxpaying career at the age of 15 as a dishwasher and walgreens. i work full-time paying my way
through college, i worked all shifts starting my business. my tax cuts for more than 20 million tax filers help small businesses compete with the big guys and survive the pandemic. the law is saving lies commend joseph project has transformed lives -- saving lives, the joseph project is helping people transform their lives in getting good paying jobs. aside from rhetoric, and not sure what my opponent has accomplished or what he has to offer. >> mr. barnes, you have one minute for your oats need -- opening statement. >> thank you, my story is a wisconsin story, my father working third shift on the assembly line, my job -- my mother a schoolteacher. those jobs were the ticket to the middle-class, those tickets are harder and harder to come by. that is made increasingly more
difficult by out of touch senators like ron johnson who leaves working people behind. i can tell you if you are when it is welding -- wealthy donors come you could count him support you, if you are a working person, it is a shame that we have had politicians that have turned their backs on us into service of their wealthy donors in service of their own interest. i believe we can create a america, it wisconsin that gives everyone a fair shot at the american dream. ron johnson will try to run and hide from his record come he cannot hide from the truth. >> thank you. [applause] our first question is about all of the campaign commercials. do not worry. we will not show any of them. >> according to our partners, the republican aligned senate leadership fund has spent or reserved $24 million in ads to
defeat mr. barnes. any of those trying to betray you as soft on fighting crime, with comments like -- about bloated police budgets and ending cash bail. how do you respond to voters on your record? mandela: i am glad you brought up the obscene amount of spending in this race, the money is being spent to defeat me, there's no commercials speaking about senator johnson's record, he is not done a single thing for us. he has had 12 years to shop to working as consonants, he has refused every single day. on the topic of crime this is that has impacted me personally more times than i care to count. i am a proud product of the city of milwaukee and i take the good with the bad. i have lost more friends that i care to count to gun violence. it is absurd when people say i am soft on crime or i am not serious about issues. there is nothing i am more
deeply passionate about, i hope nobody has to feel that pain. this is about making sure that law enforcement and community's have strong relationships. that we do the things we know prevent crimes from happening in the first place. investing in good schools, good paying jobs, doing the work to get rid of poverty. when communities have resource to thrive the next current violence the same way other amenities do. -- communities do. ron: there is a lot of mystery surrounding lieutenant governor barnes diploma, we do know he got a degree specializing in performance, he is a performer come he is an actor, i do not know if he is delivering lines made up for him or he is making it up on his own. falsehoods it seemed to roll off his tongue, anyone watching this debate or this campaign, take anything he has to say the huge grain of salt. mandela: i would absolutely like to respond to that. [laughter] [applause]
>> go ahead. mandela: the reality is the senator will try to run and distract from his record. you cannot run from the fact that when there was an opportunity for him to provide the port for publix -- support for public safety and initiatives he walked away. the american rescue plan allowed us to invest $100 million, he voted against it because he rather play politics. look, the biggest achievement in business was him saying i do, he married into his business. he did not start it from the ground up. >> ping-pong here. 30 seconds. ron: i am proud of my accomplishment, there are not many senators that say they can get tax cuts for 20 million businesses, write laws to say live -- save lives. or the joseph project that has provided hundreds of jobs
transform lives. i am proud of those accomplishments. what senator barnes -- lieutenant governor barnes has no account was meant. [applause] >> please. >> all he has his lies and distortions, he cannot run from the record of 40 year high inflation. >> we will get to some of these topics, let me ask you the question that came up under campaign ats -- ads. the democratic aligned senate majority back as a spent nearly $19 million to defeat you. many of them portraying you as an out of touch guy with a tax cut you initiated that benefited you in your rich donors. should voters be skeptical of your record on working families? >> i come from a working family -- back ground. i got my first job at 15 at a grill as a dishwasher. i work shiftwork. some say there fathers worked a
third shift i actually worked third shift. the fact of the matter, the grotesque level of money of spending, it is grotesque. they spent more than $9 million against me before i even started -- decided to run. democrats love to denigrate dark money before they use it themselves. i think i kratz have spent -- democrats has been more in this and i will not talk about. >> inflation continues to run hot, remaining the one concern for voters in april -- a poll. mr. johnson coming you will get the first question the federal policy is to drive up interest rates that hurt everyone to drive down inflation. what can congress do to control the rising costs? what will be your priority in the senate to help wisconsin families? >> we have to understand what caused the 40 year high inflation rates.
out of control deficit spending. i voted against most of it. unfortunately president biden come when he came into office put forth another relief project -- package when we had money left over from the previous relief package. i was worried about it in 2021, we need to stop deficit spending, stop spending our debt. a dollar you make under the biden ministrations is now worth .83%, is crushing -- $.83. it is hurting seniors on fixed income. >> you have to have the courage to vote no and i voted no on deficit spending. lieutenant governor barnes supports the massive deficit spending including the green deal energy boondoggles we cannot afford to pay for. >> would you do anything to drive down the costs? ron: again you have to grow the
economy, but stop the deficit spending, become energy dependent, stop the war on fossil fuels. >> you can rebut, he did bring up your name. mandela: i will wait for my response. >> same question for you, what can congress doing what will be your priority in the set to help wisconsin families? mandela: thank you so much, i've experienced the best and the worst of things. i know it is like to pay the bills, to wonder if you'll make and meet and -- ends meet and how you'll make it to the next day. that is an experience far too many people in this country had lived with on a daily basis. we have to do is lower-cost for working families, we need to give a middle tax cut, we need to make the child tax cuts permanent, new stop giving tax cuts for the wealthiest families. he was a no vote until he orchestrated $250 million in tax
deductions for his just donors, and benefited person is working -- in his company before leaving working people behind. he had no problem blowing a true billion the -- true billion dollar hole in the -- 2 trillion dollar hole in the deficit. we need to create the jobs that senator johnson does not mind sending out of state or out of country. [applause] >> you have 30 settings to respond. >> i understand how high the cost of gas is because i fill up my own gas tank. i drive myself, us -- unlike senator barnes. he used chauffeurs 13.5 hours a day, seven days a week, 355 days a year, that is not only excessive, that is abusive of taxpayer money. you ought to look at his record. i understand what is causing the
cost of cass -- gas to go up it is a democrat warm fossil fuels. mandela: the senator should be so audacious, he fails to mention that taxpayers have to foot the bill for his private plane trips between d.c. and his private mansion in florida. the 2017 tax plan gave benefits to people who made private plane purchases, guess who bought a few private planes? senator johnson stems, we are paying for that, working class families are footing the bill for millionaire lifestyles and it needs to stop. >> mr. johnson coming have a rebuttal. >> that is a total lie, i was never reimbursed for private jets travel. what i was reimbursed or was approved by the senate was an ethics committee when i submitted expense. my children, i spent time in for
the, i do not charge for the plane trip down. it is within senate rules to charge for the plane trip back, you're talking maybe $5,000 versus $600,000 cost wisconsin tax players -- pairs first 13 hours a day, seven days a week, we hundred 65 days a year that is an abuse of funds. >> i want clarification it is ok when he does, but not anyone else. >> let's move on and continue this conversation. inflation is still the concern. let's talk about wages. massachusetts institute of technology living wage calendar shows a single adult in wisconsin would need to make $16.40 an hour to meet their basic needs and to be self-sufficient. that bumps up to $18 and $.36 an hour for a working couple with one child. mr. johnson, do you think the government or the marketplace should set the standard for a minimum wage?
what should that wage be? ron: no. i think government screws up more things, causes more problems and exacerbates more than they solve. the individual working at minimum wage or a small percentage. most people looking for job regarding 12, working, 14, $15 an hour at a starting wage. that is where you get a robust economy. the problem that they have is the out-of-control inflation, the democrat war on fossil fuels. a dollar that you had at the start of the biden administration is worth 88.3%. >> please ask the audience from refrain from making comments? mr. barnes, the same question to you, you need to repeat the statistics? mandela: no thank you, what is going on right now with working people being denied the fair shot they deserve is absolutely abhorrent.
working people should not work 40 hours a week and still have to struggle to pay bills. if you work full-time should not have to worry if you can make rent. minimum wage is not going up since 2009, in wisconsin our men wages the federal mineral wage of $7.25 -- minimum wage of $7.25. one of the most wealthy members of congress should not say that congress should not set a standard of living and raising the minimum wage is the frustration that somebody people have in this country. it is why people have tuned out of politics. they feel like no one is looking out for them. that is because ron johnson is in the united states senate not looking up for us. he talked about a small percentage of minimum wage earners, a smaller percentage of men -- millionaires and billionaires in this country has no problem looking out for everything a time. >> do you want to respond? ron: he claims to be part of the working class, i found evidence
he had a real job in the private sector, maybe has some but he does not talk about it. i worked in the private sector for 40 years, i have worked shift work, starting with humble beginnings, i know. exactly what people have struggled with. i work hard to make sure the economy is full of great opportunities. the joseph project has transformed lives by giving them the dignity to earn their own success. mandela: i can tell you that is the worst part about it. if you have had humble beginnings and made in life, for you to turn your back on everyone else that is what people are frustrated with come what i am frustrated with. we need people that will go to the mets to fight for an improvement at quality-of-life. oshkosh defense plan to move the jobs to south carolina, is respond -- his response was we have a thousand jobs, not just thousand jobs, but opportunities for people to head, he praises off shoring. >> he did bring up another
issue. ron: has a lieutenant governor ever created a job? i have created hundreds of jobs through my joseph project, we have transfer in the lives of hundreds of people and constantly impacted the impact -- the lives of thousands of people. these are inner-city, formally incarcerated, drug and alcohol, i have done this for seven or eight years, the that had to see say i turn my back on people? i do every thing i can to provide good paying jobs for semi people. he does not have a clue -- so many people, he does not have a clue. >> we will try to get back in order here on who goes first. the next question is about social security oh go to mr. johnson, you will have the first question on this, inflation hits our seniors. they learned today they'll get a nearly 9% cost-of-living increase because of inflation. there are nearly 1.3 million people in wisconsin on social security.
one in five wisconsinites, the average person receives 19,000 people -- dollars a year, mr. johnson, president biden called you out physically on social security saying you want to put it on the chopping block every year. you've also said that yearly evaluations can fix programs that are broken. what specific options do you support to fix social security? ron: let me be very clear i want to save social security. i want to save medicare. the greatest threat to any government program is the massive out-of-control deficit spending and our growing debt. if we return to the interest rate we experienced in the last three decades of the last century, 5.4% would add $1.2 trillion per year to the interest expense. that would have to be paid without us defaulting and driving interest rates even higher. social security recipients will get a raise, that only keeps them equal with what they lost because of biden's inflation.
$100,000 nest a senior had is only worth $88,300, that is the federal government through their inflation, democrat's inflation. taking $12,000s out of that seniors account. the solution is pretty -- reducing deficit spending, ending the war on fossil fuels. >> nothing on payroll tax, nothing on changing the raising the retirement age, none of the other options? >> the first step is to stop inflation. you have to do that first then grow the economy. the number one component to solution of all the economy. under biden we had two quarters of negative growth because they do not have a clue how to run the economy and they continue to deficit spend. >> thank you, mr. johnson, mr. barnes you have suggested the very wealthy should pay their fair share to help keep social
security solvent for future generations. define the very wealthy, who will pay more under your plan and would you support lowering benefits for higher earners or raising the retirement age for the generation younger? mandela: thank you so much when nothing about social security ethnic about my grandparents -- social security i think about my grandparents who worked their entire lives and paid into the system and deserve to see the benefits they justly earned. when he talks about making social security discretionary spending that means he is becoming -- he is coming for your retirement. it is also a shame that instead of making sure the wealthy pay their fair share he rather give them tax deductions.
-- continue to complain about the deficits, but had no problem adding $2 trillion to the deficit to appease his wealthy donors and himself. >> ok mr. johnson can be heard your name you have 30 seconds. >> i never said i want to cut or put social security on the chopping block. i said we have to look at all of soft -- government spending and start prioritizing, social security, medicare, defense spending would be at the top. we cannot spend 306 9 billion dollars on a green new deal energy and doggerel that will be corporate welfare, complete wasted, add to inflation come put at risk social security benefits as what the lieutenant governor is in favor of. >> you want to respond? the inflation reduction act. mandela: the senator is going all over the place, by making social security discretionary spending or be up to the whims
of politicians every year under his plan. social security is supposed to be a guarantee. if you work hard you are supposed to see the benefit from the hard work. that is what i find so hard to understand that senator johnson is opposed to. you can bring up every issue he will talk about, the war on fossil fuels the fact is he is bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry. hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign. [laughter] [applause] >> what governor barnes is ignoring is by 2023, 2035 social security trust fund runs out. benefits are exceeding the revenue coming in. at that point benefits will be reduced to the amount of revenue coming in. the question is will we have the financial wherewithal to offer benefits to under those promises. that is what i'm trying to save. if we try -- continue to spend money on green energy wound august we will have the financial wherewithal --
boondoggle we will continue to have -- we will not have the financial wherewithal. >> we will move on, the question was how to make it solvent. ron: you have to grow the economy. >> the question is about gun violence and police reform. on monday night a 12-year-old girl was shot and killed in milwaukee while helping her mother to bring groceries into her home. olivia schulz's murder now raise the money -- number of children killed in milwaukee county to 20 this year. her mother says she feels she is living a war zone and does not want to carry a gun to protect her family. her neighbor says she purchased a gun to protect their family because of gun violence. my question to you, what would you say to that parent? mr. barnes, you can go first. mandela: niala: i mention my own personal experience with gun violence, the sad reality these
are not unique stories, it happens every day across the country, the even sadder story is we have hard -- politicians who say there is nothing can be done. they choose to do nothing. politicians bought and paid for by the gun lobby. senator johnson has received $1.2 million campaign support from the nra, the gun lobby, you will say. there is nothing that can be done. he is bought and paid for. he is in their pockets you will put their interest before the lives of our children. i do know if he has ever had to deal with this, if he has ever had to go to the funeral of a child or visit with her family of a child that was taken because of gunboats. -- gun violence. it is a pain i hope nobody has to expense. if we do the right thing, what the majority of the people in the state of wisconsin report, but a majority of gun owners support, background checks is the lowest bar possible. senator johnson brother put the gun lobby before us. >> you can respond right now.
what would you say to those parents, how can the senate reduce gun violence? ron: i would express my sincere sympathy first. i would talk about the overall macro solution, renewed faith, stronger families, supportive committees. we start drilling down -- communities. when we draw down we have to keep violent criminals in jail and support law enforcement. unfortunately we have a demonstration in wisconsin right now, their goal is to reduce the prison population back into percent. -- by 50%. they are patrolling 884 criminals, 74 violent, including 44 child rapist. criminals who committed or attempted order. keep -- murder. keep violent criminals in jail. one things they used, cash bail,
there is efforts to 11 eight cash bail -- eliminate cash bail. you do not go on russian today tv and announce law enforcement. >> you are talking about the state issue with the parole system, under republican and democratic governors offenders have been released under the parole system. you said in the senate the first step which would allow federal prisoners to be released or earned the option of early release. do you think people should not have the option to be released early under the system of parole? >> my joseph project offers a second chance by providing formerly inc. -- incarcerated people the chance to turn their lives around. we believe in redemption. i had a real concern, as where we ask for strict monitoring of who would be released.
to see if people would commit further crimes. what the u-verse, the barnes administration did was let people out on crime. mandela: it feels like the senator is trying to walk away from his record again. he is bemoaning me, for acts of the administration at the same time the first step act released 2000 to 3000 people on parole early, do you walk away from that? do you not claim credit for the reset of 2000 and 3000 people while at the same time sacking the fort? -- for it? [applause] >> if the audience could please hold on. ron: what i have seen is the violent criminals your administration released. we were told it would be very nonviolent, people who have completely rehabilitated themselves, that is now we released in wisconsin. mandela: this is the hypocrisy a taxing for the same thing he is doing. >> moving on.
>> now to, police reform, sorry about that. democrats support the george foreman -- george floyd police reform act. mr. johnson, what would you support, would it include ending all phaedra immunity for police officers -- qualified immunity on police officers? >> we should keep qualified immunity it would be an assault on police officers. senator scott supported police reform, having a strong bipartisan bill, providing federal funds for training so law enforcement can understand what works and what does not work. unfortunately democrats played politics without. as they have done with so many past occasions it was either their way or the highway. there was a strong bipartisan
bill negotiated by senator tim scott of south carolina that could have had it, past it, could be improving things. democrats said no, it was either our way or the highway. that is happened on gun control, on so many different issues. democrats want to play politics they love issues, they rather have an issue than solve a problem. >> i would like to follow that up, mr. johnson. after examining both the george floyd justice act and the act you just spoke about there are more. similar goals than opposing ones. is it a deal breaker not to get this on the floor, is ending qualified immunity for police officer is in the bill. ron: again i would not support that. it is an attack on law-enforcement. i've tried to support law enforcement. if you want to reduce crimes, my partner says police officers do not commit crimes, -- prevent crimes. it is not a guarantee, we need
law enforcement, the problem with the defined movement he has been a -- defined movement he has been a proponent of, you have a hard time recruiting officers. you do not have the officers you need to reduce crime. >> i want to remind officers -- audience hold off so we have more time for questions. we will also ask you this question as well as a rebuttal. mandela: no police officers in this country are more dispirited than the ones present at the united states i january 6 -- at january 6. [applause] >> please hold off on applause. mandela: 140 officers entered, another question a door, and another stabbed with a metal stake, this talk about support from all -- law enforcement is not real or true. he decided to play politics when the person he did not want to win the residential -- -- presidential election >> you have to and it.
ron: i immediately, forcefully, repeatedly condemned the violence of january 6, unlike my opponent who ignores the rights, the 2000 law enforcement officers during the summer rights and he incited the kenosha rights. he said it looks like it was a vendetta carried out against a member of the community. he incited two more nights of violence, that is a miserable record. >> you have every right to respond. mandela: you have to be said -- it has to be said he called those folks patriots and tourists. the people who beat up police officers and united states capital, the people there to protect him, he said he was not afraid. he said if there was black lives matter or anti-fight he been afraid. because it was the people he riled up of course he was not afraid. [applause] >> he gets a question, the
george floyd actually justice act, what would you support and doesn't have to include qualified immunity? >> the most port thing we have the do's build trust -- do is build trust and restore. trust with the law enforcement committee it makes the job easier -- community. it makes a job easier results in less stress and crime. even at 2020 the height of protest, former governor scott walker called for police reform. i do support getting rid of qualified immunity we need to hold bad actors accountable. we do not need to let people who break the law who are hired to enforce the law go to a different department if they -- we cannot have safer communities unless they have trust. our administration has invested historic money into law enforcement. we want to do the right thing to keep people safe on both ends. when we reduce poverty we reduce. crime. when we.
increase support for our schools reduce crime. senator johnson does not seem to understand that. [applause] >> we will move onto the next topic, ask the audience to hold off. the next set of questions pertain to abortion and family planning. sandra johnson, they say it is their most important issue in the recent market pull. -- poll. >> mr. barnes you have supported going back to rome and it comes to abortions, you also say you cannot legislate a specific timeline and it should be left up to a medical doctor. can you clearly stated what point you think life it should be protected and what exemptions would you support? mandela: thank you so much, i have someone in the audience, connie was expecting. it was the most joyous time for her. that joy was short-lived. what you thought was twins was actually a cancerous tumor forming.
she had very difficult conversations, conversations she never expected to have. she had an abortion, that was her choice to make. in ron johnson's america women do not get make choices for their health. rape items do not get to make the choices for themselves -- rape victims do not get to make the choices for themselves. i support going back to roe v. wade that was the law the land for 50 years. it also allowed for certain restrictions. the reality is a headstrong protections for the -- it had strong protections for the health and life of the mother. senator johnson has sponsored 8 different national abortion bans, they have no accepts for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. that is to out the -- that is to attach. -- out of touch. >> where we you clearly state you will protect life? ron: you can go to my website
and you can read everything i have written on the subject. this is a profound moral issue. what i propose, from my standpoint the best way we can finally come after 50 years. this is not solved 50 years ago this has been a divisive issue for 50 years. i propose a one-time single issue referendum to decide, at what point does society have the responsibility to protect life. balancing the rights of the mother with the rights of an unborn child. i cannot they give a better way to solve this problem once and for all. where most people except the results. in that scenario i would have one vote. the extreme position when it comes to abortion is the one the lieutenant governor holds which would allow abortions up to the moment of birth. think of that. that is not where wisconsinites are. i propose something very reasonable. is on my website, take a look at it, it has to be after
thoughtful thorough -- >> mr. johnson come he said a referendum, a republican led legislator gaveled in and gaveled out that referendum cannot be taken. >> i am disputing that they gaveled in and out. the governor proposed a referendum to codify roe v. wade that is not what i talk about. if i do get reelected and i do have a republican governor always my influence to convince a legislative governor, the hold a single issue one-time referendum after a thoughtful, thorough compassionate discussion re-examine all the information we have not look at and educate ourselves. >> when it comes to the topic of abortion that is an issue that should be between a woman and her doctor senator johnson cites his personal belief. i should not -- i do not think his personal believes it should be the law for everyone.
70% of the people in the state support roe v. wade as a loveland. his position -- as the law of the land. his position is to out of touch. he can be a monger about abortion up to birth. it does not make sense, we can all agree that late-term abortion -- >> moving on. >> he accused me of your mongering. i am not trying -- fear mongering. i am not trying to scare anybody. [laughter] i am trying to develop a method where we can come together. decide this once and for all. compassionately, understanding, we have a broad spectrum of opinion. and we the people can decide. >> mr. barnes, mr. johnson please. ron: it is very difficult to hear the question. >> i will speak up so you can hear. a federal paid leave bill has been introduced and failed to pass the senate and 2013, 2015,
2 thousand 17, 2 thousand 19, even most recently during the pandemic between 21, what would it take to get you to consider six to 12 weeks of paid time off for a mother to recover from childbirth or a father and a mother to bond with their child? >> i realize that benefits are really popular and spending money we do not have in mortgaging our kids future is really popular. we do not have the money for this. if you force it on the private sector you will reduce jobs and put businesses out of work. we have a tight labor supply. companies can afforded and arc competing -- are competing with workers that are offered paid family leave. we have enough government regulations, government mandates can screw things up and make problems worse. >> at this point i do want to remind the audience please no more interruptions. we want to get through all the questions here.
you will have plenty of time at the end to applaud your team. let's move on and get your questions. mandela: whether it's maternal or maternal leave, the fact that -- eternal leave, people need to take care of their loved ones, at the height of the pandemic he bore afraid take out their work because they were afraid to lose her jobs. it made everyone at risk -- lose their jobs. it put everyone at risk. we are only country in the world the lackluster paid leave policy we have. we should absolutely country -- strengthen it. senator johnson is always about the profits of businesses, it is never about working people. if working people are not healthy and have the support they need help in any business be productive? this is a good business decision to government a paid leave policy in this country. >> lieutenant governor is never created a job. he has never signed the front of
a pay check. he has no clue how the economy works or how to run a business. he does not understand the struggles of the small business people to meet payroll or key people employed -- keep people employed. he will drive them out of business. i am trying to protect small businesses. >> a rebuttal here. mandela: senator johnson has taken a whole lot of credit for his business in law. [laughter] >> we are seeing record number of counters at the border with many -- encounters at the border with many seeking asylum. how would you work across the aisle to reform the process to legal citizenship through the green card system? mr. barnes? mandela: i support immigration reform, it is quite civilized support a path of citizenship for dreamers and their families. a system that treats people with
respect and dignity and is not subject children to the horrors of family separation. as lieutenant governor when the biggest concerns i have is we do not have comprehensive immigration reform in this country. it makes a harder for small businesses, harder for our farmers. everywhere i go, people agree a path to citizenship is not a humane thing to do it is a good thing for the economy. we have people like senator johnson who spent 12 years in office, all he will do is complain. when he has a chance to make his statement it will be a complaint, does not a single thing he has done to fix immigration issues in this country. we can keep the border safe and treat people with dignity only if we have people that are serious about doing the work. >> you have this question as well. ron: as chairman of committees i've held three dozen committees hearings on our open borders and. immigration. i worked with kyrsten sinema on dhs, we developed operation safe
return. it morphed into return to mexico that solve the problem of unaccompanied children and people abusing our asylum laws. we cut single adults coming across the border illegally and have. until democratic presidential debates where they said they would stop deportations and offer free health care. president biden came into bar -- office and opened the border up. the flow of deadly drugs is killing our people. the human degradations of human traffickers is largely overlooked and hidden by this administration mainstream media. >> we want to go on we have another question on immigration. >> this a good you mr. johnson. what do we do with the 75,000 people, undoubtedly minted immigrants -- undocumented immigrants in wisconsin that are law-abiding citizens that -- law-abiding people that pay.
state and federal taxes. . because they are not here legally they are living in the shadows. what is the pathway for them to become citizens that does not require deportation? ron: one of the real tragedies of the open border policies, because we were so close to having a secure enough border we can move towards legal immigration reform. i was working with the previous administration, we took 100 visas down to six, avoid them on a metric system tied to the economy and would take care of the daca kids and the people you're talking about. president biden came into office, blow up the border and remove the first necessary step we have to take. you cannot offer amnesty and have a wide-open border or you will have a flood of millions more people coming to the country illegally being abused by human traffickers. again, abused by the human traffickers come it is horrific what is happening. how do you think young women payoff human trafficking fees?
the border is secure on the next consent of the border. nobody comes across as country without either paying or being indebted to human traffickers. this is a travesty. this is a democrat policy of open borders. mandela: this is the senator using fear mongering as i said before. he will use in every issue. the reality is the info structure bill has were -- has provisions for border modernization. senator johnson could not vote for because he did not read the bill. if he is serious about solving the problem he would have taken the time to do his job. instead he rather play politics and make talking points. the people he is trying to make you afraid of, people that are working here, people that are paying taxes, can be doing to society. contribute into the community. people that should have a path to citizenship. sandra johnson was talk about a labor or a workforce shortage, these are people if you're already doing the hard work. ron johnson wants to do whatever
with it. he wants them to live in limbo and continue to live in the shadows. >> to make clear, what would you suggest as their pathway to citizenship? mandela: we should process them them immediately into a path for citizenship. people that been working, contribute in, should have a path to citizenship if they so choose. the issue has been so demagogue, the fear mongering that is being used as a reason why we do not have copperheads of immigration reform. they want to scare the hell out of everybody on this issue. it is only making people's lives worse and more difficult, contribute into a more inhumane system. >> give a chance for rebuttal. ron: it has cost us more to not complete the wall that we have contracted for than actually built it. [laughter] democrats have voted against the three of my admittance, against
completing the -- amendments, the wall that we bought and paid for. he wants to give them driver's licenses come up what do you need to vote? that would be a drivers license and in-state tuition, that would be more of a magnet. >> you have a chance to respond. mandela: you have -- this is about safety, people drive regardless, if we can have checks and balances making sure who is on the road and people can get car insurance that would make communities more safe. people should not have to live in the shadow. if you went to a school in wisconsin you should absently have to pay in-state tuition at one of our wonderful tuitions -- universities. we have reciprocity with minnesota, you should be able to pay in-state tuition. >> our first foreign-policy question focuses on the war in ukraine, mr. barnes you will get the first question.
president biden says americans are fully prepared with our nato allies to defend every single inch of nato territory. every single inch. the war in ukraine is escalating as we speak. russia's president is threatening to use clear weapons. mr. barnes do you support more financial aid or mill -- military commit for ukraine and deploying american military to deploy -- defend nato countries if necessary. president biden: i will tell you --mandela: i will tell you this is a fight for democracy abroad. we need to do everything we can, i am proud of the ukrainian people showing immense courage. we need to do have the weekend short of american boots on the ground, there's no appetite for it. putin needs to be held accountable come we need up sanctions on putin. however we have someone, senator johnson who praised putin as a smart guy. if putin is successful in
ukraine he will encroach on more territory. it will be a green light to other autocratic leaders. there is also an instance where senator johnson had to be set down by the fbi and warned he may be a russian asset. we cannot trust senator johnson to protect the moxie abroad. we cannot -- democracy abroad. we cannot trust sandra johnson to protected a home. [laughter] [applause] >> we do have a chance of rebuttal we also ask you the question ukraine. >> i wish resident biden was more concerned about defending every inch of u.s. territory against the invasion on the southern border. i want to get a all accounting of what we have allocated, what weapons we sent to ukraine, what we need to replenish in our own stockpile. i have been to ukraine repeatedly. i was at present zielinski's inauguration, the ukrainian
people what will -- want what we want. >> you have another 30 seconds. on the question of ukraine. ron: uh, the ukrainian people want what we want, there defend their children and their freedom. i think it is good for us freedom loving peoples to hang together, provide them offensive entry -- weaponry to defend their territory. i wonderful accounting. in response to the wild charge of lieutenant governor bonds, the fbi set me up with a corrupt [applause] -- [laughter] they leaked that to smear me. he is referring to corruption the fbi that i'm trying to uncover and expose. [laughter] [applause] >> please, we are trying to get through these, we have time for one more question. one minute response. >> last year the wisconsin
department of agriculture trade and commission reported ginseng export totaled more than $19 million. the number one consumer being china. since e*trade were started by the trump administration, one -- the trade war started by the trumpet missed ration, if the tariff issue is not -- trump administration, if the trade war is not addressed, he and other farmers got a business. mr. johnson, how can you assure them that this is a priority to you? ron: under the prison missed ration i work to free up trade so we can export to china. i fully understand what a threat china represents to the global economy. with the way you discipline china you need to get the rest of the trading world hanging together, cooperating, imposing rules on china.
what we also ought to do is reinitiate the china initiative. that is what president biden cancel. the department of justice investigation program to try and track down investigate chinese theft of investor -- an electoral property on u.s. universities. why did he cancel it? i have no idea? izzy compromise because of his sons business dealings with china? that might be the case. >> how would you ensure that this is a priority to you? mandela: i remember touring a farm in 2019, asked about the tariffs and the impact. he asked me if it would be the death knell of the rule america, if you are asking that then the answer is yes. our family farms, businesses, manufacturing has taken a hit because of the tariffs. when the former president app lamented those tariffs, senator johnson -- implemented those
tariffs, senator johnson did not stand up for farms are small businesses, the reality is senator johnson has benefited personally from chinese investment in companies. we need to make sure we are on a level playing field for any of our trading partners, that means a set of labor stoners -- standard and environmental standards. we need to make sure that the american workers and farmers are put first in any trade deal. >> you do have time if you want to do a rebuttal. ron: he makes it up, he is a performer, actor, the falsehoods will of his tongue. take everything lieutenant governor barnes says with a huge grain of salt. >> we are down to one final question. both of you said a lot tonight about of each other -- a lot tonight about each other. when we traveled around the estates heard repeatedly -- the united states heard repeatedly about people tired about divisive politics and attack
ads. both of you have been successful. mr. barnes can what you find admirable about your opponent? mandela: i do think the senator has proven to be a family man i think that is admirable. that is absolutely to be respected. he speaks about his family, has done a lot to provide for them, i absolutely respect that. ron: likewise, i appreciate that lieutenant governor barnes has loving parents, a schoolteacher, father that works a third shift, he has a good upbringing what puzzles me about that, the upbringing why does he turn against america? [booing] >> we said something admirable. we have made it to the end of this debate. for closing statements, i appreciate both of you gentlemen. at this time would like to ask the audience to please hold your applause, your feelings until the end of both candidates
concluding their comments. mr. johnson. why should voters pick you on november 8? ron: wisconsin voters ought to be asking, are you better off or worse off since democrats took control? considering 40 your high inflation, record gas prices, skyrocketing -- year high inflation, skyrocketing gas prices, skyrocketing crime, people are worse off. these problems did not just happen they were the direct result of democrat policies and democrat governments. lieutenant governor barnes supports all of these policies causing you and your family so much pain. if elected he would be a rubberstamp for president biden and senator schumer. together they would make matters even worse. when i ran for office i made two promises. i will always tell you the truth. [laughter] i will never conduct myself -- i
have honored my -- those promises scribbles like. if elected -- scrupulously. if elected i will do everything i can to unify the station and i am asking for this vote. president biden: thank you also -- mandela: thank also much for being here, i appreciate this opportunity, will the senator once you hide from his own record and he describes a politics of division, each and every one of us in all 72 counties of the state have so much more in common with each other than we ever have with self-serving out of touch politicians. unfortunately the last 12 years we've experienced the values of his shaven representation. women's lives and women's health are on the line. our veterans who may have been victims of burn pits he did not want a senator who will play politics -- you do not want a senator who will play politics with allies. retirees come you do not want someone who will take retirement away from you. working people who live in constant threat of their job
being shipped over state -- or overseas. he tried to overturn a free and fair election because he did not like the result, he tried to send a collectors, -- electors. >> thank you mr. barnes and johnson for meeting us on this debate stage. now you can applaud. [applause] >> >> now that you have heard each of the senate candidates, where they stand on the issues, wisconsin, make sure that you both. the general election is november 8. scan the qr code you see on your screen for voting resources. >> join shannon and i tonight at 10 p.m. for a breakdown of the debate. hear what voters have to say about it and reaction from both sides of the aisle. >> this concludes our debate
here at marquette university varsity theater. thank you for joining us. thank you for hosting us. >> one more time, we will say thank you to our crowd and thank you to our candidates for being here. good night. [applause] >> today on c-span, discussion with democratic representative ro khanna of california live from the quincy institute at noon. then treasury secretary janet yellen talks about the u.s. economic outlook at the monetary fund in washington, d.c.. liz cheney talks about the constitution and defending democracy at the university of notre dame. you can also watch live coverage on the free c-span now video app
or online at c-span.org. >> c-span's campaign 2022 coverage of the midterm elections continues with candidate debates from around the countries, beginning live toni 8:00. from wisconsin, incumbent democratic govnotony e verse dete republican challenger. then peter welch and jerry malloy vote for the open seat in vermont. then at 10:00 incumbent colorado governor faces his republican challenger. don't miss a single election moment on c-span and take us with you on the go with c-span now, free mobile video app. also visit c-span.org/campaign 2022, your website for all of our midterm election coverage on demand. c-span, your unfiltered view of politics.
>> american history tv, saturdays on c-span2. exploring the people and events that tell the american story. on the presidency, revealing the life of first lady martha washington with the author of the washington's and the research editor at the papers of george washington project at the university of virginia. and then on lectures of history, hillsdale college professor talks about american churches and religion during world war i and shares how pastors and rabbis spoke about the great war before and after the u.s. entered the conflict. exploring the american story. watch american history tv sas on c-span2 and find a full schedule on your program guide or c-span.org/history. >>