Sen. Ron John­son, for an id­i­otic com­ment about in­ner-city kids

The Washington Post Sunday - - OUTLOOK - By Chris Cil­lizza Have a can­di­date for the worst week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cil­lizza at chris.cil­lizza@wash­post.com.

Sar­casm rarely works for politi­cians. Es­pe­cially when it’s not en­tirely clear they’re be­ing sar­cas­tic. Which it wasn’t in the case of Ron John­son, the Repub­li­can sen­a­tor from Wis­con­sin, who gave a cringe-wor­thy in­ter­view to a Madi­son ra­dio sta­tion Mon­day.

While dis­cussing the need for school choice, John­son cas­ti­gated Demo­cratic politi­cians who send their chil­dren to pri­vate schools. “They just don’t want to let those idiot in­ner-city kids that they pur­port to be so sup­port­ive of . . . they don’t want to give them the same op­por­tu­nity their own kids have,” John­son said. “It’s dis­grace­ful.”

John­son’s of­fice ini­tially in­sisted that a Washington Post re­porter who asked about the sen­a­tor call­ing in­ner-city kids “id­iots” had mis­heard his com­ments. But soon, John­son him­self was on the phone ex­plain­ing that “I was be­ing, that quote is, I’m be­ing very sar­cas­tic in that’s how lib­er­als view these un­der­priv­i­leged kids.” He went on: “That is not my view­point in any way.”

The prob­lem is that John­son has built some­thing of a rep­u­ta­tion for im­politic com­ments. There was the time he de­nounced “The Lego Movie” as an anti-busi­ness screed. Or the time when he ac­cused Hil­lary Clin­ton of cry­ing on com­mand in or­der to avoid some of his tougher ques­tions dur­ing a Se­nate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee hear­ing on the at­tacks in Beng­hazi, Libya.

All of those bad head­lines are es­pe­cially prob­lem­atic for John­son, con­sid­er­ing that he is run­ning for a sec­ond term in a left-lean­ing state in 2016.

Ron John­son, for for­get­ting that sar­casm is bet­ter left on the side­lines of pol­i­tics, you had the worst week in Washington. Con­grats, or some­thing.

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