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Wis. Sen. Ron Johnson Says Party Victory 'A Serious Responsibility'

Sen. Ron Johnson acknowledges the crowd as he addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, La., Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Bill Haber/AP)
Sen. Ron Johnson acknowledges the crowd as he addresses the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, La., Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Bill Haber/AP)

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson says his party’s big win Tuesday night is a “serious responsibility” and he is “glad that the American public decided to give Republicans the chance to govern.”

Johnson says the message of the election is that the federal government needs to do less and do it better. He spoke with Here & Now‘s Robin Young about ISIS, global climate change and border security.

Interview Highlights: Sen. Ron Johnson

On climate change

“We’ve always had drought, we’ve always had flooding. I live in the state of Wisconsin and about 23,000 years ago our state was largely covered by about a 5,000 foot glacier. I know there were men back then—you know not building enough campfires to make those glaciers recede. There are other forces that cause climate to change. So climate does change and I don’t deny that man has some effect on that. It certainly has a great deal of effect on spoiling our environment in many different ways. I’ve got a very open mind but I don’t have the arrogance that man can really do much to affect climate. What we can do is continue to use our innovative minds to create better technology for more renewable types of energy.”

On government response to Ebola in the U.S.

“The reason the states are having to step in is because the CDC handled it in a very incompetent manner… The federal government should do a few things well, including defense of this nation, border security; truthfully, standing up a very effective and competent national health institute and CDC to protect national public health. But the problem is the government has grown so far beyond the constraints of the constitutional enumerated powers, it’s trying to do everything for everybody. It does it very ineffectively and in many cases very damaging. I think what we should be really concerned about is the security of this nation. Americans after five and half years of this incompetent administration are not really feeling particularly secure.”


“What we will do is try to restore funding for our military so that we are actually ready to secure this nation and we will support strong and resolute action on the part of this administration. I want to President Obama to succeed in the goal that he stated which was to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS. We will support his strong, resolute action which quite honestly his own Democratic members of Congress do not necessarily.”


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