Republican U.S. senatorial candidate Joni Ernst gave Iowans another memorable one-liner Thursday with her delivery of an in-your-face assessment of President Barack Obama’s failure as a wartime president, as well as a not-so-subtle reminder that her opponent never served a day in military service.
“I will remind you that I have served in Iraq,” she told her Democratic opponent, Bruce Braley. “My boots were on that ground that is now held by ISIS. So when we make these decisions, I take them very seriously.”
The venue was the Iowa senatorial debate in Sioux City, and her remark was in answer to whether U.S. ground troops should be re-deployed in Iraq.
Ernst was in Iraq in 2003 where she served as a company commander. She continues her serve in the Iowa National Guard, where she holds the rank of lieutenant colonel.
TribLive political reporter Salena Zito went a beyond reporting just the facts with a two-word appraisal of Ernst’s “boots on the ground” line:
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZitoTrib) October 17, 2014
She went on to blast the Obama administration’s handling of ISIS and said all criteria should be examined before committing our own troops in the Middle East.
Here’s the video of her response. Story continues after clip.
Ernst distinguished herself from a long line of Republican hopefuls in Iowa’s GOP senatorial primary by posting a memorable campaign ad, according to The Washington Post, which reported:
She was a relative unknown in a crowded field led by a wealthy businessman. Then she started talking about castrating hogs.
Ernst spent just $9,000 to air her first television ad, but her testimonial — “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm” — and her promise to apply those pork-cutting skills to “make ’em squeal” in Washington transformed her candidacy.
Here’s that campaign ad.
She ended up taking 56.1 percent of the vote out of a field of five candidates for an easy win, as reported by the Iowa Secretary of State.
As for the general election, she’s leading Braley by a whisker–46.6 percent to the Democrat’s 44.6 percent, well within the margin of error, according to The Huffington Post. The Post arrived at this by tracking 39 polls from 21 pollsters, and assesses an Ernst victory by 55.5 percent.