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Feingold, Johnson discuss national security concerns

Russ Feingold, left, and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (Submitted photos)
Russ Feingold, left, and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (Submitted photos)
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Recent national polls are indicating that terrorism and national security are primary concerns on the minds of voters.

With a potential rematch 11 months away for Republican Ron Johnson's U.S. Senate seat, FOX 11 talked to both Johnson and Democrat Russ Feingold Monday about the security issues.

Feingold described his ideas to defeat ISIS.

"In my view, we can do a lot more to stop them," said Feingold. "We can cut off their finances, we can cut out their ability to make money off of oil. We can prevent arms sales into that region."

He says both the president and Congress need to do more.

"I've laid out specifically the things that I think could be done that are effective, instead of making the same darn mistake that we made by invading Iraq and in some ways helping to create this situation by invading a country we shouldn't have invaded," said Feingold.

He has criticized his Johnson's calls for ground troops in Iraq and Syria.

Johnson said it could be part of a successful strategy.

"We're hearing military experts say it might require 10,000 American ground troops," said Johnson. "I would support that effort if I was convinced President Obama had a strategy that would work and he was fully committed to the strategy and the goal."

Johnson says President Obama's biggest mistake was not leaving forces behind in Iraq. Johnson believes increased border security would also decrease the threat of terrorism.

"I think our greatest vulnerability is the lack of security on our borders so if you're a determined terrorist, probably the easiest way to get into America is through our unsecured borders," he said.

A poll this month from the New York Times and CBS shows nearly one in five voters believe terrorism is the biggest issue facing America. Previous polls found the economy was the top challenge. Whether that will make any difference in who people vote for is not clear.

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Johnson defeated Feingold five years ago, knocking Feingold from the Senate seat he held for 18 years. The primary will be in August to determine for sure whether Feingold and Johnson will face each other in November.

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