U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson made an appearance at a Republican Party booth at a Milwaukee Juneteenth event on Saturday but was unceremoniously booed for his efforts.
Last year Johnson blocked a bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
“I object to the fact that by naming it a national holiday, what they’re leaving out of their argument, the main impact of that is it gives federal workers a paid day off that the rest of Americans have to pay for,” Johnson said last July when blocking the legislation.
After the Senate and the House approved the legislation, he walked back slightly on his previous stance.
“While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter,” the Wisconsin Republican said.
At the event, Johnson interacted with attendees, and some began to boo him. As he delivered his speech, a much larger crowd formed and greeted him with a chorus of boos.
Several attendees hurled expletives at the senator while others yelled, “We don’t want you here.”
After the incident, Johnson brushed off the frosty reception.
“This is unusual for Wisconsin. Most people in Wisconsin say, ‘You are in our prayers; we are praying for you.’ … But you got some people here that are just sort of nasty at some points,” he said, adding that it was “not how you heal the nation.”
“You come down here and try to interact with people and be nice to people. But this isn’t very nice, is it?”