Ron Johnson Answered Call From Dick Morris For “Rich Guy From Wisconsin,” to Run Campaign, Now Answers Morris’ Call to "Cripple" and Defund Health Care Reform

MADISON — Former career political consultant and current FOXNews pundit Dick Morris, who Ron Johnson has reputedly credited as the inspiration for his U.S Senate run, will visit Wisconsin Saturday, no doubt using his establishment connections to help Ron Johnson’s candidacy as he did on FOXNews earlier this week.

As his campaign kicked off, Ron Johnson told WLUK-TV he was running because:

“I was sitting home, watching FOXNews, and Dick Morris came on and said… ‘If you’re a rich guy from Wisconsin, step up to the plate.’ And I kinda looked at [my wife] Jane and go ‘Is he like talking to me?’ [WLUK, 5/17/10]

And Johnson told right-wing radio host Charlie Sykes:

SYKES: “Was there a moment where you're sitting on your couch, and you go, maybe its gonna be me. Maybe that I have, maybe I'm the guy that has to step forward and, and, and do this thing.”

JOHNSON: “You know there actually was. I was watching FOXNews and, uh, Dick Morris came on. He was talking about [the Wisconsin Senate Race and said] ‘Hey, if you're a rich guy in the state of Wisconsin maybe you ought to decide to run.’” [WTMJ, 5/17/10]

Dick Morris is scheduled to visit Sheboygan and Lake Geneva Saturday. He’ll visit Ron Johnson’s hometown of Oshkosh Sept. 25 Morris will doubtless use his visit to help Ron Johnson raise money, as he did on FOXNews earlier this week when he told Sean Hannity:

“Johnson can use financial help. Send him money if you're listening.” [FOXNews, 8.31.10]

Aside from crediting Dick Morris as his reason to run, Ron Johnson has also begun to echo Dick Morris’ plan to “defund” health care reform. Morris wrote on his Web site in March that before Republicans could repeal health care reform, they should defund the program. “Through zero funding these changes, we can cripple them before they take full effect,” he wrote.

Johnson echoed Morris this week on Wisconsin Eye:

INTERVIEWER: So one of- one of your first goals your first year in office would be to defund the health care bill?

JOHNSON: Correct. [Wisconsin Eye, 8/30/10]

Just what changes are Ron Johnson and Dick Morris trying to cripple?

Repealing health care would cripple the ability of Wisconsin small businesses to offer affordable coverage to employees. According to the consumer health organization Families USA, repealing health care reform would take away tax credits from 86,100 Wisconsin small business that now qualify for tax credits so they don’t’ have to choose between health care and hiring.

Repealing health care reform would also reopen the prescription drug “donut hole,” crippling the ability of seniors to pay for prescription drug costs. It would also cripple efforts to rein in waste, fraud and abuse, and end overpayments to insurance companies, ensuring tax dollars pay for the highest quality of care.

And Ron Johnson’s repeal plan would end the ban on discrimination against pre-existing conditions, among other changes.

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