Ernst Would Support Trump On GOP Ticket

Sen. Joni Ernst says Donald Trump will have her support in the November presidential election if he’s the nominee of the Republican Party.

“I will support whoever the nominee is,” Iowa’s freshman senator told The Opinion-Tribune following a town hall meeting Thursday morning at Glenwood City Hall. “I think it is that important that we unify our party and work on issues that are important to the American people.”

Trump, the controversial billionaire businessman, appears to be on his way to winning the GOP nomination despite embittering many mainstream and conservative Republicans during the caucus and primary election process. Ernst’s Republican colleague, fellow freshman senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, said last month he wouldn’t vote for Trump in November and would likely look for a third-party conservative candidate instead. Ernst declined to say if she believes Trump’s candidacy has been “good or bad” for the Republican Party, but stressed the need for stronger American leadership around the world, particularly in the fight against ISIS.

“We really need to put our money where our mouth is and eradicate ISIS,” she said. “Not contain it, not degrade it.”

Ernst said ISIS has contingents in all 50 states and one of the top objectives or the U.S. and its allies in the fight against the terrorist organization should be to capture Raqqa, Syria.

“That’s their headquarters,” Ernst said. “That’s where their leaders are located. We need to approve the use of military forces and we need to take it up with the Senate and the House and have the president sign it into law.”

Ernst’s 45-minute meeting in Glenwood attracted around 25 people and included discussion of veterans benefits, agribusiness and the open seat on the United States Supreme Court. Republican leaders have vowed to put off nomination hearings for a new justice until a new president takes office in 2017. Ernst said she would follow the lead of fellow Iowa senator Charles Grassley, Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in addressing the Supreme Court vacancy.

Ernst said the Supreme Court will continue to function with eight justices, noting that a tie vote will result in the ruling of the lower court being upheld.

Ernst, a Montgomery County native, said she’s learned a lot during her first year in Washington and has been taken back by the number of Iowans who are politically involved with federal issues. Her meeting in Glenwood was part of a 99-county tour of Iowa. Ernst also made an appearance in Glenwood Saturday night for a dinner at the American Legion hall to honor local veterans.

The Opinion-Tribune

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