A video has surfaced from a January campaign event in southwest Iowa, showing Republican US Senate candidate Joni Ernst suggesting Republicans in congress should hold President Obama accountable for executive overreach.
“He has become a dictator,” Ernst said. “He is running amok. He is not following our constitution and unfortunately we have leaders who are not serving as leaders right now. They’re not stepping up. They are not defending the constitution and they are not defending you and me.”
Her statements were made at a January forum in Red Oak, but the video was posted online today and Ernst issued a written statement this afternoon, saying she “obviously” doesn’t believe the president is a dictator, but Ernst added that Obama’s “repeated use of unilateral action sure makes him look like one.” Ernst said she was responding to a “hypothetical question” about Obama’s “recess appointments” to key federal agencies when she made these comments seven months ago: “And I do think that, yes, he should face those repercussions, now whether that’s removal from office, whether that’s impeachment…We have to push that issue and we can’t be silent on things like that.”
In late June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Obama had exceeded his executive authority in making some government appointments while the senate was not in an official “recess” period. In her written statement today, Ernst said she has “not seen any evidence that the President should be impeached.”
Ernst faces Democrat Bruce Braley this November for the seat U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Cumming, has held for three decades.