“Asked, as he was ending Friday's press conference, if Trump can win a general election in Wisconsin, Johnson described the question as "hypothetical." A reporter pointed out that, with Trump as the presumptive nominee, it's no longer hypothetical.”
Ron Johnson on Donald Trump: 'I fully intend to support our nominee'
By: Mark Sommerhauser
May 6, 2016
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson on Friday likened his business background to that of presumptive Republican presidential nominee DonaldTrump, while affirming his support for Trump in the November election.
"I fully intend to support our nominee," Johnson told reporters before a school choiceevent in Milwaukee.
Trump -- by winning the Indiana primary and driving his remaining GOP rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, out of the race -- emerged this week as the presumptive GOP White House nominee. It capped a remarkable Republican primary in which Trump, not long ago dismissed as unserious by many in the media and in the Republican Party, positioned himself for a likely general election match-up with Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said he wants to give Trump, a businessman who has not held elected office, “a little space” to learn about issues facing the country.
"Let's give the presumptive nominee the opportunity to get the briefings," Johnson said. "I've gone through that process. It takes quite a while to get up to speed."
Like Trump, Johnson not long ago was a business executive without a background in elected office. He had never held office before he defeated Democrat Russ Feingold in the 2010 election. Feingold is challenging Johnson again in this year's election.
Johnson told reporters Friday that voters are hungry for candidates like he and Trump, who aren't career politicians.
"People with a different perspective, from the business sector, from the private sector -- we know how to solve problems," Johnson said. "I think the American public is saying, 'give these folks a chance.'"
Many Republicans and conservatives view Trump, who has bucked the party line on issues such as trade and Social Security reform, with wariness or outright hostility. In a move that's unprecedented in the history of modern presidential campaigns, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, one of the the two leading Republicans in Congress, said Thursday that he's not yet ready to back Trump.
Johnson hedged Friday when asked if Trump is a principled conservative.
"In some areas, absolutely,” Johnson said. “In others, I won't agree with him."
Asked, as he was ending Friday's press conference, if Trump can win a general election in Wisconsin, Johnson described the question as "hypothetical."
A reporter pointed out that, with Trump as the presumptive nominee, it's no longer hypothetical.By then, Johnson had ended the press conference and was leaving the room.