U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold slammed Republican frontrunner Ron Johnson in an alternately funny and fiery speech, painting the Oshkosh businessman as being on the side of oil and insurance companies, not working people.
Feingold mocked Johnson for an appearance he made last month on the talk show of conservative Charlie Sykes, whom he called Johnson's "political mentor."
Johnson told Sykes he was inspired to run from watching pundit Dick Morris on Fox News.
"It wasn't a voice from on high or something in a dream. It was Dick Morris for God's sake," Feingold said.
Feingold also ripped into Johnson over his pledge to spend up to $15 million on his campaign to beat Feingold, saying Johnson has "a $15 million hole in his pocket -- it must be a terrible burden."
"It's almost as if the sight of a non-millionaire in the Senate offends Ron Johnson," Feingold said.
He also knocked Johnson for not laying out where he stands on issues.
"Even the Tea Party people are complaining they don't know where this guy stands," Feingold said.
Feingold said on a recent radio interview Johnson said he was "glad" there was global warming, and that he thought this was the wrong time to be hard on oil companies.
"Can you think of a better time to be beating up on the oil industry?" Feingold asked incredulously. "What are you talking about?"
He warned that Johnson may soon call for drilling in Lake Winnebago.
"Beware ice fisherman!" Feingold said.
Feingold also warned that Johnson's top priority would be the repeal of federal health care reform.
"After we finally beat these (insurance) guys, he wants to undo it," Feingold said.
"Mr. Johnson needs to understand this election is a referendum on the power and influence of corporate special interests in Washington," Feingold said. "I do not believe the people of Wisconsin want a senator who will put special interests and corporations ahead of the common good."Feingold touted his opposition to trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT, and said
"I tried to stop jobs from leaving our state in the first place," Feingold said while "Republicans relentlessly pressed for every one of those trade deals."
Feingold thanked Gov. Jim Doyle for his eight years as governor, called Dem guv candidate Tom Barrett "one of the finest people I have ever known," and said U.S. Rep. Dave Obey has had "one of the finest careers in the history of Congress."
Listen to the audio: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/100611Feingold.mp3
-- By Greg Bump