U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst says communication is the key to resolving the partisan impasse in Washington, D.C.

“You absolutely have to be communicating,” Ernst says, “even with people you may not agree on those same ideas or same philosophies, but you know what? You have to sit down and communicate — period.”

Ernst is one of a handful of candidates who are running for the Republican Party’s 2014 nomination for the U.S. Senate. Ernst and competitors Sam Clovis and Matt Whitaker signed an online petition calling for an “ObamaCare Showdown” over “defunding” the Affordable Care Act.

“We need to repeal and replace ObamaCare,” Ernst says. “I know that they are working hard to do that, but they have to communicate.”

Ernst was at the statehouse today to publicly receive the endorsement of Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. Afterwards, Ernst was asked by a reporter if the federal government shutdown was the “wrong strategy” for Republicans in congress.

“I don’t know that it’s the wrong strategy,” Ernst replied. “But, again, they need to be working through this situation and I don’t see the communication right now.”

Ernst, a state senator from Red Oak, is also a batallion commander in the Iowa National Guard.