Ron Johnson runs from Trump like a scared rabbit now that he's trailing in the polls
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson -- one of former President Donald Trump’s most servile sycophants in the U.S. Senate -- has decided to distance himself from the boss now that he’s facing a tough reelection fight.

Johnson trailed Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes by seven points in a recent Marquette Law School poll on the Senate race. Progressives have rallied around Barnes since he outlasted a tough primary field, terming Johnson an “insurrectionist.”

Johnson has pivoted to trying to reinvent himself, according to a report at Milwaukee’s ABC-TV affiliate WISN-12. On a local political talk show, Johnson didn’t sound at all like the guy who carried water for Trump during the 2019 Ukraine scandal.

“First of all, my election’s about me running as a U.S. Senator dealing with issues that are impacting Wisconsinites," Johnson said. “I don’t personally think Trump should have any impact whatsoever on this election, November 2022. What he does in the future, that’s a decision he’s going to make."

Johnson’s “Donald who?” strategy was also on display in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” in which he “sidestepped” a question about whether he would invite Trump to campaign for him this fall.

“To me, this election is about Wisconsin and about 2022. And so from my standpoint, I’ve never asked for anybody’s endorsement. I’m happy to have people’s endorsement, obviously I want as much support as possible,” Johnson told reporters after an immigration event, not referring to Trump by name. “But I’m running as the candidate and I’m trying to appeal to as many Wisconsin voters as possible, so we recognize that under Democrat [sic] control, this has been a disaster.”

Johnson has made a special attempt at recreationist history as to his chief of staff having attempted to convey the names of fake electors to Vice President Mike Pence on the morning of January 6. As CNN reported June 29, Johnson has continually changed his explanation for a last-ditch effort by his office (and almost certainly him) to stop certification of the vote on January 6.

Johnson had called it “a complete non-story.” But on June 21, the House Select Committee on January 6, “showed evidence that Johnson attempted to deliver slates of "fake" Trump electors from Wisconsin and Michigan to Pence ahead of Jan. 6,” ABC news reported.

Text messages between Johnson staffer Sean Riley and Pence aide Chris Hodgson were displayed on-screen in which Riley wrote that Johnson wanted to hand over fake electors from the two states. Riley wrote that Johnson "needs to hand something to VPOTUS,"

"Do not give that to him," the Pence aide replied.

Barnes called for Johnson to resign from the race after that news had broken. And one of his Democratic primary opponents at the time, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry labeled Johnson a "seditious traitor."

Alexa Henning, a spokeswoman for Johnson, insisted after the hearing that the senator "had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office." But that story changed still again last week when Johnson was asked during the talk show appearance whether he would testify before the January 6 committee.

"What would they ask me to testify about?" Johnson said "I had nothing to do with the alternate slate. I had no idea anybody was going to ask me to deliver those. My involvement in that attempt to deliver spanned the course of a couple seconds."

That would be a couple seconds more than Johnson previously admitted.