(Headline USA) Ron Johnson is the only senator in his party facing reelection next year in a state that certified Joe Biden as the victor in the 2020 presidential race.
But rather than moderate his politics, Johnson is focusing even more intently on cultural issues that appeal to the majority in the nation.
He has said the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd distracted journalists from covering immigration.
He has acknowledged that America’s ruling class hopes to replace the nation’s white citizens with a dependent class of blacks and hispanics.
And he said he was less concerned about the protesters who held a peaceful rally at the U.S. Capitol in January than he would have been if there were Black Lives Matter riots.
Johnson has not committed to seeking a third term in 2022.
But his seat probably will be among the most fiercely contested in a campaign year that will decide control of Congress and the future of Biden’s agenda.
Johnson’s tactics offer a window into how Republicans may approach the midterm elections, with a focus on turning out the base.
“I know how just about anything any Republican or conservative will say will get taken out of context and exploited,” Johnson told The Associated Press recently, responding to a question about his comment on the Capitol protest. “And I understand exactly how the left plays the race card all the time. I understand that. But there was nothing, nothing racial in my comments at all.”
Johnson is hardly the only Republican taking this approach
Donald Trump centered his presidential reelection campaign last year on a “law and order” message that countered Joe Biden’s pro-riot platform.
More recently, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California introduced a measure to censure Rep. Maxine Waters, a black Democratic congresswoman from California, for urging people to violate the state’s laws.
And a memo linked to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., proposed an America First Caucus hailing “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and warning of immigration’s threat to the country’s “unique culture.”
For Johnson, much of the controversy began when he said he wasn’t concerned for his safety during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot because “I knew those were people who love this country.”
“Had the tables been turned, and President Trump won the election, and tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa” stormed the Capitol, “I might have been a little concerned,” Johnson said during the interview on nationally syndicated conservative radio show.
Antifa are violent anarchists who have joined Black Lives Matter advocates at riots across the country.
Days after his comments about the Capitol, he suggested the news media was distracted from an influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border by the Chauvin trial in Minneapolis.
And last week, Johnson recognized that people of color are replacing white people in the West, enabled by progressive politicians of both parties.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson complained that he, a white man, had “less political power because (Democrats) are importing a brand new electorate.”
Johnson appeared to spur such beliefs during a Fox interview with Larry Kudlow, a former economic adviser to Trump, by asking, “Is it really that they want to remake the demographics of America so they stay in power forever? Is that what’s happening here?”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.