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