Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst on Tuesday walked back comments she made in January that President Barack Obama had become "a dictator" and should face impeachment.
Ernst made the comments at a county Republican forum while discussing the then still-pending case at the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
"I do think that, yes, he should face those repercussions, and whether that's removal from office, whether that's impeachment," Ernst said in January to a question on if Obama should be punished if the Supreme Court ruled against him, reported Yahoo News
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"As a U.S. senator, though, we have to push that issue. We can't be silent on things like that. And unfortunately we have a number of legislators right now that simply let these things happen. They're not speaking up against these actions. …So he has become a dictator," Ernst said.
The Supreme Court ruled in June that Obama's NLRB appointments were unconstitutional because Congress was technically not in recess, nullifying his 2012 appointees and the decisions they had made, noted the Washington Examiner
Ernst told Yahoo News on Tuesday, though, that she did not mean literally in her January comments that the president had become a dictator .
"His repeated use of unilateral action sure makes him look like one," Ernst said in a statement to Yahoo News. "To be clear, I have not seen any evidence that the President should be impeached."
Ernst went on to further clarify her January statement, saying she believed she was addressing a "hypothetical" question at the time, because the Supreme Court had not made a decision and the ruling did not prove abuse of power by the president.
"I was asked a question involving a hypothetical about what I thought should happen if the Supreme Court ruled that the president had committed an 'abuse of power,'" Ernst told Yahoo News. "Obviously if the Supreme Court were to ever rule that the President of the United States had abused their power, that would be a very serious charge. I responded by saying that if the court in fact made such a ruling, that the president should face the necessary repercussions."
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