Sen. Joni Ernst, who started her "Roast and Ride" motorcycle run fundraising events in Iowa to benefit veterans in 2015, said Saturday that she's glad to see it has also become a required stop on the presidential campaign trail.
The Iowa Republican, a military veteran who led the pack of about 200 riders along with former Vice President Mike Pence days ahead of his expected presidential campaign announcement, told Newsmax's Tom Basile that not only Pence, but eight other presidential hopefuls were to be at the event to "take the stage, share their inspiration, their motivation, and their goals for America."
The proceeds of Saturday's ride are to benefit the Freedom Foundation of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which assists veterans.
Ernst, meanwhile, said Iowans will be motivated in the 2024 race to participate in the caucuses because they are "very upset" with President Joe Biden's policies and what they see happening in the United States.
"We've got a wide-open southern border with illegal migrants flowing and taxpayers supporting them," she said. "We've got a federal government that spends out of control. We have a weakened military that focuses on electrifying by making them all ride in electric vehicles. I mean, it's crazy that the thoughts that are coming out of this administration … we need a Republican in the White House to right this ship."
Ernst also Saturday spoke out about reports that some $1.3 billion has gone to research projects in China and Russia, some of which went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"It's got to stop," she said. "Those in charge of those programs have to be held accountable."
Meanwhile, Ernst, who was riding her 2009 Harley Softail Deluxe, said she was pleased to have Pence, also riding a Harley Davidson, at the front of the pack with her.
He said that Ernst not only served in uniform but is "one of the great champions of veterans in the United States.
He noted that the money raised will support veterans' efforts across Iowa, and that "we're honored to be a small part of it."
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Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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