Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) (AP Photo)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) (AP Photo)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) (AP Photo)

MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, in criticizing liberals on school choice, referred to “idiot inner-city kids.”

In a radio interview this week, the first-term senator complained that the Obama administration was trying to “snuff out” school choice in the District of Columbia and denying opportunities to children.

“It’s unbelievable to me that liberals, that President Obama, of course he sends his children to private school, as did Al Gore and Bill Clinton and every other celebrated liberal,” Johnson said. “They just don’t want to let those idiot inner-city kids that they purport to be so supportive of, they want to help out, they don’t want to give them the same opportunity their own kids have. It’s disgraceful.”

Johnson made the comments Monday on the Vicki McKenna Show on station 1310-WIBA in Milwaukee.

A spokeswoman for Johnson said it was “obvious he was being sarcastic and talking about the way liberals think about students who are trapped in failing schools.”

“Nobody fights harder for equal opportunity in education than Sen. Johnson. It infuriates him that liberals have such low expectations for inner-city children,” Johnson spokeswoman Melinda Schnell said Wednesday.

Johnson faces a tough race for re-election next year in a likely rematch with former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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