Tags: 2014 Midterm Elections | Healthcare Reform | gop | weekly | address | joni ernst

Senate Candidate Joni Ernst Records GOP Address, Then Deploys

Saturday, 12 Jul 2014 09:37 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Americans know more about what their communities need than Washington's bureaucrats, Iowa State Sen. Joni Ernst said in Saturday's GOP address, recorded days ago before she headed out for active duty leading her military battalion for the next two weeks.

"I get asked all the time what made me want to join the military," said Ernst, a lieutenant colonel and battalion commander in the Iowa Army National Guard. "The answer is simple. When I was attending college, I went on an agricultural exchange to the Soviet Union. And I saw with my own eyes what a nation without freedom looks like. I saw what happens to people when they lose their liberty."

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

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The mother and grandmother, in addition being in the military, handily won the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. Senate this fall. She became a national name with a viral campaign ad comparing cutting pork in Washington with her skills from her early days on a farm castrating hogs, and is running against Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

Ernst said that she grew up on a farm and knows what it's like to not have much, as her mother canned food and made their clothing. But she said she also learned that America is great because of its people, not its government.

"The problem in America today is that Washington is full of liberals who think government is the solution to every problem," said Ernst. "They think that nothing can be solved unless Washington is involved."

Ernst railed against Obamacare in Saturday's speech, and also called for a Balanced Budget Amendment to "force Washington to stop spending more than it takes in."

She also called for economic growth and tapping into the country's energy supply to create good paying jobs in the nation's communities while strengthening national security.

And when it comes to Obamacare, said Ernst, it "is not improving healthcare in America, but making it worse. We need, and must demand, more individual control over our health care decisions, not less."

She said that Social Security and Medicare must be preserved to help provide for today's seniors, but "we also believe, as do some of our friends in the Democratic Party, that these programs must be reformed so America not only keeps its promise to today’s seniors but is also able to guarantee a safety net is available for our children and grandchildren."

And she said Republicans believe strong schools are critical for the future.

"I send my own daughter to the very same public school that I graduated from," said Ernst. "To strengthen local schools, we believe we need to take power and money away from Washington politicians and bureaucrats, and give it to local parents, teachers and administrators, so they can decide what’s best for their children’s education."

Bureaucracy is also failing veterans, said Ernst.

"As an active member of the Iowa National Guard and the wife of a retired U.S. Army ranger, I believe this isn’t a partisan issue," she said. "It’s an American problem that must be solved."

Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?

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