GOP candidate: I'm running because of Dick Morris' solicitation on Fox News

Yesterday, Wisconsin business owner Ron Johnson announced he's running for the Republican nomination to oppose Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). What spurred him to action? Fox News' call for Republican candidates.

During a press conference announcing his candidacy, Johnson explained: “I was sitting at home watching Fox News and Dick Morris came on and said 'Hey, you know, Feingold is vulnerable. You know, if you're a rich guy from Wisconsin, step up to the plate.' I kind of looked at (my wife) Jane and said 'is he, like, talking to me?'”

While Johnson didn't specify when he saw Morris' appeal, the Fox News “political analyst” has repeatedly solicited GOP candidates on Fox News' airwaves. Dick Morris told Greta Van Susteren on February 5 that "[w]e need somebody to run against" Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. On February 1, Morris similarly told Sean Hannity: “I want to do a paid commercial here. If anybody out there lives in Wisconsin or, Oregon, or New York, or Indiana, and would like to be a United States senator, if you're a Republicans, run. Run. Win all those seats.”

In addition to soliciting GOP candidates, Morris regularly uses his Fox News employment to endorse and fundraise for Republican candidates, and urges viewers to contribute to or help campaigns that advocate on behalf of Republican causes or against Democratic candidates or causes.