CNN Rips Ron Johnson: ‘Injecting Race’ by Noting His Democrat Opponent’s Hot Race Takes

Political News

On the day before the midterm elections, CNN This Morning engaged in some liberal gaslighting on behalf of Mandela Barnes, the Democrat candidate for Senate from Wisconsin.

CNN host Poppy Harlow proclaimed “Republican Senator Ron Johnson has already made it clear that he may not accept the results of tomorrow’s election. And now he is injecting racial division into his closing campaign message.”

How is he “injecting racial division”? The Republicans have pulled up a Barnes interview from 2018 where he said racism in Wisconsin is “a little more scary” than racism in the Deep South. He accused Wisconsinites of “concealed carry racism.”

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Barnes said: ”Going back to that whole racial point, The racism there [in the South] I would say is different than here in Wisconsin. Because in a Louisiana, a Mississippi, an Alabama, it’s more open. It’s like, you get it, you know the people who don’t like you. And here in Wisconsin, it’s a little more scary, because it can be institutionalized, and much more concealed. You know, it’s concealed-carry racism.”

CNN doesn’t want you to focus on what Barnes has said about race that could be called “injecting racial division.”  Even the liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on nasty Barnes interviews with Russian TV: 

In May 2015, for instance, Barnes told RT that police brutality is a “total epidemic” in the United States. A month earlier, he posted a screenshot of his interview with RT on the Baltimore protests, commenting, “People are tired of being targets.”

But Harlow turned to CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez. Many recall Jimenez on a previous trip to Wisconsin, during race rioting in Kenosha. He stood in front of an inferno saying the protests were “largely peaceful demonstrations.”

Jimenez warned about Johnson: 

JIMENEZ: So these are things he said at nearly every campaign stop we’ve been to. On the racial-division part of things, he specifically brought up comments that Mandela Barnes made in a previous interview, talking about how institutionalized racism might be scarier than what some might believe is traditional racism, because you can’t see it. And he coined the term in that interview, “concealed-carry racism.” 

And they’re comments that Johnson jumped on to an audience that is typically white, especially in some of these smaller towns, to say, well, this is proof that he hates this state and the people in it. 

Yes, small towns in Wisconsin are “typically white,” but Jimenez seems to be suggesting that it’s unfair to tell white people that a black Democrat thinks the state is chock full of quiet racists. They ran video of Johnson’s pitch:

JOHNSON: He’s talking about racism in Wisconsin. Says it’s actually scarier than down South, because we’ve institutionalized it here in Wisconsin. We just figured out how to conceal it. He called it concealed-carry racism. So, that’s what he thinks of you! Kind of makes you scratch your head. I mean, why would he want to represent people who have institutionalized racism?

Skeptical voters might suspect Johnson’s spinning the Barnes remarks. So why can’t CNN air the actual Barnes clip? 

Poppy Harlow CNN This Morning 11-7-22PS: On Johnson’s caution about election returns — if the results after Tuesday show Johnson with a razor-thin lead, but in subsequent days, e.g., a bunch of Democrat votes turn up in the trunk of a car, should Johnson be precluded from questioning it? Has CNN asked Stacey Abrams to commit to accepting the results in Georgia, something she still refuses to do, four years after having lost to Brian Kemp the last time around?

This CNN attack on Ron Johnson was sponsored in part by Ensure, Golden Corral, Abbott, maker of Skyrizi, and Dell.

CNN This Morning
11/7/22
6:09 am EDT

POPPY HARLOW: Republican Senator Ron Johnson has already made it clear that he may not accept the results of tomorrow’s election. And now he is injecting racial division into his closing campaign message. 

Let’s go to our colleague Omar Jimenez. He is on the trail for CNN this morning in Milwaukee. Omar, what is he saying on top of the troubling fact that a few days ago he, you know, said he doesn’t know if he can trust the outcome of the election?

OMAR JIMENEZ: Yeah, so these are things he said at nearly every campaign stop we’ve been to. On the racial division part of things, he specifically brought up comments that Mandela Barnes made in a previous interview, talking about how institutionalized racism might be scarier than what some might believe is traditional racism, because you can’t see it. And he coined the term in that interview, concealed-carry racism. 

And they’re comments that Johnson jumped on to an audience that is typically white, especially in some of these smaller towns, to say, well, this is proof that he hates this state and the people in it. 

Take a listen to some of the comments he’s made at these stops.

RON JOHNSON: He’s talking about racism in Wisconsin. Says it’s actually scarier than down South, because we’ve institutionalized it here in Wisconsin. We just figured out how to conceal it. He called it concealed-carry racism. So, that’s what he thinks of you! Kind of makes you scratch your head. I mean, why would he want to represent people who have institutionalized racism?

MANDELA BARNES: Ron Johnson ran a completely negative campaign because he doesn’t have a record to run on. He spent 12 years serving himself. 

JIMENEZ: Now, Barnes obviously believes the framing by Johnson is ridiculous, and he’s called Johnson the worst senator this state has seen since Joe Mccarthy of the ’40s and ’50s, as he touts his own true Wisconsin identity as the son of a union worker and a teacher. Barnes, if elected, would be the state’s first black senator, in a state that’s nearly 90% white.

HARLOW: And what, indeed, would make history. We’ll see though. It’s very close. Omar Jimnez, thanks very, very much.

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