Housley, Johnson get the crowd riled up

October 5, 2018

U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson were among the first speakers at the rally Thursday.

Johnson recalled a phone call from President Trump the day after the August primary.

“Isn’t it fun to win when no one thinks you have any chance?” Trump told Johnson, who upset Tim Pawlenty, the former governor who had 10-to-1 advantage in campaign contributions.

Johnson laid out the differences between him and DFL candidate Tim Walz, the six-term Congressman serving the state’s 1st District, which includes Rochester and Winona.

“We could not have more different views than where Minnesota should go,” Johnson said, highlighting the basic differences between left and right views on taxes, health care and immigration.

The last topic drew the loudest response from the crowd, which was still filling in the arena two hours before Trump was scheduled to take the stage.

“Walz wants to make Minnesota a sanctuary state,” Johnson said, pausing to let the boos accumulate. “Over my dead body.”

“Tim Walz represents a third Dayton term,” Johnson said, “just about 10 steps to the left.”

State Sen. Karin Housely (R-St. Mary’s Point) took a page out of Trump’s playbook when she attacked her opponent, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, as “Taxin’ Tina.”

Smith was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to Al Franken’s Senate seat. The Nov. 6 election will determine who fills the final two years of the term.

Housley was also the first to bring up the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

“Every accuser deserves to be heard,” Housley said, before ripping into the Democrats for what she essentially said was looking the other way on claims against Keith Ellison, the Democratic National Committee vice chair, a U.S. Rep. from Minneapolis, and the DFL candidate for attorney general in Minnesota.

She incorrectly said that Ellison is facing sexual assault charges when a former girlfriend said he physically harmed her. Ellison has denied the charges and has called for a House investigation.

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