Fox News "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" - Transcript


By:  Ron Johnson
Date: Oct. 28, 2012
Location: Unknown


WALLACE: Senator Johnson, let's turn to Wisconsin, which hasn't gone for a Republican since Ronald Reagan back in 1984. How much do you think Romney will be helped by the big organization that Governor Scott Walker had to build to hold off the recall vote last June?

SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WIS.: Well, it was definitely helpful. We've got a very strong ground game here and, the most recent Rasmussen poll was dead even, 49-49. But among voters who already made up their mind or those that are for sure are going to vote, Governor Romney, you know, garnered 51 percent of those votes versus President Obama, 41 and 48.

So, it was interesting, Chris, as I drive around the victory centers, particularly yesterday, this issue of Benghazi is really bubbling up. People are demanding answers from this administration. I think it's going to have a big impact here in the state of Wisconsin.


WALLACE: All right. You gave us a lot to chew on, let's start with the economy which everyone agrees is still the number one concern for voters.

Senator Johnson in Wisconsin, let me put up some numbers. The unemployment rate is now nationally 7.8 percent, GDP growth in the third quarter rose from 1.3 percent in the second quarter to 2.0.

It's still a weak recovery, Senator, but aren't the president's policies starting to turn things around?

JOHNSON: No, we have had incredibly tepid, just meager recovery, and the fact that GDP rose 2 percent. I mean, all you can really say about that is it's less bad news.

So, what happened here in Wisconsin, after that first debate -- the very false character that President Obama spent hundreds of millions of dollars portraying Governor Romney was utterly shattered. When Wisconsinites saw, here's a man of integrity and intelligence, somebody that actually had a plan, unlike President Obama who has no proposals to save Social Security or Medicare, or unlike the Democrats in the Senate who hasn't passed a budget over three years, people want real leadership and that's what they are seeing in Governor Romney. And they certainly know Ryan Paul, somebody with the courage to put forward real proposals.


WALLACE: Senator Johnson, Mitt Romney disavowed Richard Mourdock's comments and, Richard Mourdock has tried to walk them back. But it does bring up the bigger question. Why should a woman who believes of freedom of choice when it comes to abortion, why should she vote for Mitt Romney, who said he'd like to see Roe vs. Wade overturned and who favors cutting off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood?

JOHNSON: Well, Chris, first of all, I have heard one person talk about the abortion issue during the entire campaign. What people in Wisconsin, what is moving the needle here is they recognize Mitt Romney is an individual, who when faced with the legislature that's controlled 85 percent by Democrats who is actually able to work with the Democrats, you take a look at his record versus President Obama, who has been totally unable to work with divided government in Washington --

WALLACE: Sir, if I may, on the question of abortion, though --

JOHNSON: It's just --

WALLACE: Go ahead.

JOHNSON: I mean, Chris, it's not even an issue. It's not an issue here in Wisconsin. It doesn't even -- it doesn't even move the radar at all.

What people are concerned about, like I said -- yesterday, it was unbelievable how many people came up to me, demanding answers on Benghazi. I had a father, a Marine, a young Marine, saying, listen I want to know who the commander-in-chief is and what orders he gave and what didn't he give. And that's really the question on the table I think for the last 10 days, is what happened in Benghazi and, abortion doesn't even show up.


JOHNSON: Chris, the American people have the right to know. And that is what they are demanding here in Wisconsin.

Let's face it. What was the president doing, during those seven hours? Did he give that directive? Or didn't he? Did Leon Panetta directly defy him? I mean, what happened?

Who sent out? Who sent Ambassador Rice out five days later when they knew it was a terrorist attack that was preplanned, sent her on Sunday talk shows to say in fact it was a spontaneous reaction to, of course, the video. This administration purposefully misled the American people for weeks. This president misled the American people for weeks.

And, I think the American people have the right to know.

It was either misleading or is incompetent. I think we are finding out it was probably both, misleading and incompetence on the part of this administration. The American people have the right to know.


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