Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., would back his home state governor, Republican Scott Walker, if he runs for president in 2016.
“Listen I’m a big Scott Walker supporter,” he told CQ Roll Call Thursday in his office. “And he hasn’t announced anything, but you know I’ll be supporting Scott Walker.”
Asked whether he would endorse Walker in the primary, Johnson said, “He’d have to ask me.”
And if he asked?
“Listen, he’s my governor," Johnson said. "I’ve been a big supporter. Yeah, I’m gonna be supporting Scott Walker. He’s a good man."
In a year when the former governors of Florida and Texas could run against senators from their states in a presidential primary, a senator backing his governor is not a given. What's more, Johnson has been publicly critical of Walker before.
During Walker's 2014 re-election, Johnson, a wealthy businessman, said in an interview he did not like the way the governor attacked his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke, for her affluence and her company's business practices.
Walker has started staffing up for a potential presidential bid in early primary states. He picked up rave reviews for a speech in Iowa last month at a Republican forum hosted by Rep. Steve King.
If Walker gets into the race, it could impact Johnson, who is up for re-election in 2016. A national Walker campaign would boost his Badger State infrastructure, likely helping other Wisconsin Republicans. Johnson is a top target for Democrats, who need to win five seats to secure the majority in 2016.
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