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GOP Sen. Ron Johnson pulls campaign ad blaming gun violence on immigration in wake of Highland Park shooting

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

  • Sen. Ron Johnson pulled a gun violence-related radio ad after the Highland Park shooting.
  • His ad claimed that the death of 53 migrants was due to “Joe Biden’s open border policy.”
  • Johnson is seeking re-election for a third term and has been a vocal opponent of gun laws.

GOP Senator Ron Johnson on Tuesday pulled a radio ad that would blame President Joe Biden’s immigration policies on a “mass murder” in San Antonio, Texas, The Intercept reported.

The move came the day after the Highland Park shooting that left seven people dead and dozens injured at an Independence Day parade in Illinois. 

“The latest mass murder in America didn’t involve guns,” the Wisconsin senator said in the campaign ad, which was obtained by The Intercept. 

“Fifty-three people, including five children, were murdered by human traffickers because Joe Biden’s open border policy is facilitating the multibillion-dollar business model of some of the most evil people on the planet,” the ad continued.

Johnson’s ad referred to the deaths of 53 migrants in the back of an 18-wheeler truck found in San Antonio, Texas. A suspect – the driver of the truck — is believed to have been under the influence of meth.

“Human, sex, and drug trafficking are out of control because of Democrat governance,” Johnson’s ad continued.

Per emails received by The Intercept, Johnson planned to air the ad on July 6 but pulled it on July 5. The shooting occurred on July 4.

“URGENT: Ron Johnson orders,” an email from the vice president of sales at Katz Radio Group said in its subject line.

“They need the creative pulled ASAP. … If you listened to the spot it talks about mass shootings which obviously is not good creative after this past weekend (especially in Chicago),” the email continued.

Cumulus Radio Station Group said in an email response: “The rep for the Ron Johnson orders we entered yesterday is asking we pull the creative ASAP because of the nature of the message and how it’s a little too close to the mass shooting events over the weekend,” the Intercept reports.

Johnson, a staunch Republican, is seeking re-election for a third term and has been a vocal opponent of gun laws.

“You have criminals and you have shooters. OK? I don’t know why the left always wants to blame the gun and absolve the criminal. I want to put the criminal in jail, and keep him in jail,” Johnson said in May following a Milwaukee shooting that left 21 people injured after a Bucks game, local radio outlet WUWM 89.7 reported.

Johnson’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.


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