York — Praising him as a like-minded “citizen legislator,” Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson campaigned with GOP Senate hopeful Tom Smith during three Pa. stops Thursday.
The two were in York on the second stop of a three town tour. They started the day in Lancaster and will end in Murrysville.
“His mirrors my story. Here was a gentleman from the state of Wisconsin who was taking on a sitting incumbent who nobody thought could be beat. Well today it’s Senator Johnson, not Senator [Russ] Feingold,” Smith said.
That’s not the only thing the two have in common. Johnson also campaigned as a businessman new to politics, and like Smith contributed heavily to his own campaign.
“I’ve been on the ground here for a few hours, and this feels like November 2010 in Wisconsin,” Johnson said.
“We need leadership that understands that it’s growing the private sector, the productive sector, for long term, self-sustaining job creation. We’ve got two men here, Scott [Perry] and Tom, from the private sector,” he said, “that’s the vision of our founding fathers. Citizen legislators.”
Asked why he’d campaign against Casey, a colleague, Johnson said Casey was a nice man, but that he supported ineffective party leadership in the Senate.
State Rep. and congressional candidate Scott Perry (R-York) also spoke, saying Sen. Bob Casey had been ineffective in the Senate.
“Has anybody seen Bob Casey in York County?” Perry asked, to a chorus of “No!” from the 25 GOP volunteers in the room.
“Quite honestly, with the ideas and things he has espoused in Washington, DC, maybe we don’t want to see him here.”
Asked about the Senator’s involvement in saving the Harley Davidson motorcycle plant in York, something that Casey has boasted in TV ads and a claim the York Daily Record said was “mostly true,” Perry dismissed it.
“That was the first time I’ve heard of it was in his ads,” Perry said. “He almost claims that the reason the Harley plant is here in York is ‘cause of him. I want him to quantify that.”
The similarities between Smith and Johnson don’t end with their background, the Pa. Democratic Party noted. “Both Tom Smith and Ron Johnson support a radical Tea Party budget that is wrong for middle class Pennsylvanians,” they said in a press release, referring to a budget authored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). “Ron Johnson was one of only 16 senators to vote in favor of the Tea Party budget that Smith has referred to as a ‘good plan.’”
One of the Senators who voted no on that budget, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), also spoke up for Smith today. He cut this web video on Smith’s behalf: