Republican Senator Joni Ernst spoke this week at a big Republican event the state that holds the “First in the South” presidential primary. The crowd in South Carolina gave her a standing ovation before she said a word.
“Please be seated. Oh, for heavens sakes. I appreciate it very much, South Carolina,” Ernst said when she took the stage.
Ernst has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate of the future. She immediately mentioned the three years she lived in South Carolina when her husband was the commander at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
“I truly enjoyed it because you know what? Iowa is home to me, but South Carolina, your folks — the people here — are so much like my folks back home. You are good, grassroots conservatives and I love it. Thank you for all you do. Thank you so much,” Ernst said, to applause.
Ernst talked about her childhood on a “little dirt farm” in southwest Iowa. Ernst said worked construction with her dad in the summer and did “all the dirty horrible jobs” on the farm, too.
“It taught me to understand how we need to work with our hands and respect those that do,” Ernst said. “That’s one thing that binds us all together is that we respect people who work hard — work hard to do better for their families.”
Ernst also mentioned her first 2014 campaign ad — the one about castrating pigs on her family farm and cutting pork in Washington, D.C.
“It’s really important we focus on what the federal government should do and what the federal government maybe shouldn’t be doing because we really do need to cut the pork. Don’t you agree?” Ernst said, to applause. “It’s much better served as South Carolina barbecue, most definitely.”
Ernst was speaking Monday evening at the annual barbecue fundraiser for a South Carolina congressman. One of her biggest applause lines came when she and the crowd celebrated the confirmation of President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It was so important that we elected a Republican president and one that we knew would select the right person to serve on our court,” Ernst said. “Thank God for Donald J. Trump.”
About 1100 people attended the event in Anderson, South Carolina. It’s billed as the largest annual gathering for conservatives in that state. South Carolina Public Television posted Ernst’s half-hour-long speech on youtube.