"The founding of this nation? Awful"

Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate Mandela Barnes called the founding of the United States “awful” and said the country must take steps to “repair the harm” through education, according to a video of his comments.

“Things were bad. Things were terrible. The founding of this nation? Awful,” said Barnes in a video clip of his remarks from a question-and-answer session in Portage, Wis., on August 19, 2021. “The impacts are felt today; they’re going to continue to be felt unless we address it in a meaningful way.”

The comments, which Wisconsin radio host Dan O’Donnell first reported on Sunday, could fuel concerns about the candidate’s history of controversial statements and far-left policy positions.

Barnes, who serves as Wisconsin lieutenant governor and is locked in a competitive primary race against hedge fund billionaire Alex Lasry and state treasurer Sarah Godlewski, has struggled to distance himself from some of the more radical policies on the left.