A little trial advocacy might help here. Johnson was asked the following question:
Do you want to open up more of the United States — the continental United States — to drilling. I mean, would you support drilling like in the Great Lakes for example, if there was oil found there, or using more exploration in Alaska, in ANWR, those kinds of things?"
Were this question to be put to a witness in a deposition or at a trial, many lawyers would object. The question is, we would say, "multiple," i.e., it asks a number of things - should we open up more of the Continental United States, drill in the Great Lakes, drill in Alaska generally, drill in ANWR specifically or do "those kinds of things" in general. In fact, the portion of the question about the Great Lakes is, additionally, hypothetical - would you support drilling in the Great Lakes if oil was found there?
Now a person can certainly answer all of those things, but the idea is that - in an oral exchange - it is unfair and untidy to combine too many questions into one. We can't be sure that the witness will answer all portions of the question and that results in ambiguity.
That ambiguity existed following the WisPolitics interview. Johnson answered generally - saying, without particulars, that we have to go where the oil is. Does that include the Great Lakes? Does Johnson contend that there is recoverable oil in the Great Lakes? We don't really know. Yes, the Great Lakes was specifically mentioned (albeit in a contingent way)but the answer did not specifically address them.
What Feingold did was to take this ambiguity and run with it. That isn't unusual in politics but it is hardly to be commended. What is hard to overlook is that Johnson has now resolved the ambiguity. He did not mean to endorse drilling in the Great Lakes. He does not believe that there is enough oil in the Great Lakes to justify it.
But Feingold continues to feature an ad claiming Johnson does support Great Lakes drilling.
I ask again - why isn't that a lie?