Joni Ernst On Donald Trump: “I Don’t Think He’s A Racist”

Senator Joni Ernst expressed her frustration at Donald Trump’s latest incendiary comments about not wanting immigration from certain “shithole countries,” but defended the President against accusations of racism today. The exchange came at one of her town hall forums held in Boone at the local high school this afternoon, with a crowd of just under 100 present.

“Deep inside, no, I don’t think he’s a racist,” Ernst said. “I think he’s brash. I think he says things that are on his mind, but I don’t truly believe that he’s a racist.”

That response drew both groans and applause from the crowd, which was relatively evenly split among political lines. But Ernst also voiced her aggravation with the constant distractions coming out of the White House.

“Believe me, me as a senator, I don’t appreciate it,” Ernst said of Trump’s comments. “So much of my time is being spent answering questions about the latest that our president said, instead of asking me questions about the legislation that I’m working on. I would rather tell you about some of the great successes we have had for Iowans … So, I don’t appreciate the rhetoric. What I can say is I do support some of the policies we’re working on.”

She also noted the impact that Trump’s words can have on strategic partnerships the United States has with foreign nations.

“We have great partnerships all around the globe,” Ernst added. “We have good friends in other nations. We need to work with those good partners. We need to treat them with dignity and respect, just as we would expect to be treated. So, that’s the message I’m pushing.”

Among other issues like climate change, the tax bill and Planned Parenthood funding, Ernst addressed concerns about the rising influence of China, specifically in how the rejection of TPP has made it easier for them to influence Pacific nations.

Ernst also spoke about the impending DACA renewal fight.

“This is a really, really, really important issue we have to fix right now,” she said. “It needs to happen. I’ve been querying conservatives – I think I know where most Democrats are on this issue, they’ve made it very clear … And probably 90% or better [of conservatives] say we need a permanent solution. They’re part of our communities and we can’t let them go. They need to be here. And I agree.”

There was also a lot of discussion about veterans issues, with one local man active in the Honor Flights program presenting Ernst with a folded American flag to thank her for her work on veterans concerns.

This was one of the first forums in Ernst’s annual 99 county tour, which is a mix of public and private events across the state.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 1/15/18

4 Comments on "Joni Ernst On Donald Trump: “I Don’t Think He’s A Racist”"

  • Senator Ernst. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you can be pretty certain that it’s a duck.
    I wonder; since she is so supportive of the DREAMers, does she support a “clean” DACA bill?

  • I was there. We were not allowed to rebut nor challenge her statements. She sat there defending that mad man in the Oval Office, claiming he is not a racist She did the usual republican thing of striking fear into the hearts of her supporters by using words such a “terrorists, terrorism, opioids, Mexicans, border wall, bad guys, bad actors, …..”
    She talked too long on all the GOP-supported issues and she twisted, spun, and outright lied on the issues most concerning to most Americans – health care, tax cuts, program cuts, Planned Parenthood.
    She sat there and admitted that she is anti-abortion, that she ran on an anti-abortion platform, and that she voted to defund Planned Parenthood. This in the face of the fact that a large majority of Iowans support Planned Parenthood. She also lied about federal funds that were given to Planned Parenthood and supported abortions – when intelligent, informed people all know that isn’t true. She out and out lied. She knows that not ONE penny goes to abortion services. She also knows that 98% of the Planned Parenthood services are for other health issues.
    The bottom line is: She knows these facts and she knows the majority of Iowans want Planned Parenthood, but she doesn’t care. She is only concerned about the people who voted for her. She does not represent the majority of Iowans.
    She sat there and she lied, or she twisted facts, or she spewed half-truths. She makes me ill.
    Our only recourse is to vote her out of office.

  • Then perhaps Senator Ernst could explain what she does believe ? Personally I find the total lack of self-control in a 71yr old man terrifying. Or indicative-you pick.

  • Senator Ernst, sometimes I feel that what we see and hear out here in the state, is not communicated to you representatives in Washington. To me you are so protective of the President, believe me, he comes across as a child, makes statements, then when we are told, he denies. HE IS NOT A WELL PERSON, PLEASE RELIEVE US OF THIS PRESIDENT.

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