Republican Senator Joni Ernst today said President Obama has shown a “lack of leadership” in addressing the recent ISIS-inspired attacks in Belgium and it will be up to the next president to come up with a “serious and targeted approach” to defeating ISIS.
“Someone that’s willing bring foreign officials together and discuss this and identify it as it is,” Ernst told Radio Iowa this afternoon.
Ernst faulted Obama for failing to use the phrase “Islamic extremists.” She’s also critical of Obama for staying in Cuba last week rather than returning to the U.S. once news of the Brussels bombing broke.
“I think this is all about priorities and that shows exactly where our president’s priorities are,” Ernst said, “visiting Cuba, attending a baseball game.”
Ernst said a “different” president would have returned to the U.S. and provided the support and leadership for our allies.
Ernst plans to invite the GOP’s 2016 presidential nominee to speak at her “Roast and Ride” fundraiser August 27 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Other Republican candidates on the Iowa ballot will be invited as well.
“We want our Republican, maybe even independent voter friends to come out, get to know these folks and also ask them questions directly,” Ernst said.
Ernst remains officially “neutral” in the extended contest for her party’s presidential nomination. But Ernst said she hopes convention delegates will support the candidate who arrives at the convention with the most delegates, even if he does not have the 1237 delegates necessary to secure the nomination.
“I hope in that situation, if that comes up, that the delegates would support that frontrunner,” Ernst said.
Unlike Governor Branstad and Congressman King, Ernst is not trying to win one of the Iowa delegate slots at the convention in Cleveland in July. By the time her “Roast and Ride” fundraiser is held in late August, Republicans will almost certainly have chosen a presidential nominee.