United States Sen. Joni Ernst told those in attendance at the Pottawattamie County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner her race for re-election is going to be a “fight of a lifetime,” but that America is worth fighting for.
Republican Party of Iowa chair Jeff Kaufmann introduced Ernst, saying she hasn’t changed one bit since being elected in 2014.
He talked about the stark differences between Ernst and her Democrat opponent, Theresa Greenfield.
Kaufmann first focused on his father, who fought in World War II, and what the interactions would be like if his father met Greenfield and Ernst.
Greenfield, he predicted, would try to revise the history of World War II and convince his father that Truman didn’t need to drop the bomb.
“What would Joni Ernst do,” Kaufmann said. “She would probably stand at attention, she would salute him and she would call him a hero and mean it.”
In a few months, Kaufmann will welcome his first grandchild — a grandson.
“It may seem harsh, but it’s real because this election is real,” he said. “To Theresa Greenfield, he is a ball of cells that could be removed. What is he to Joni Ernst? He is my grandson, right now. There’s another difference.”
He wrapped up by saying that Ernst always will be a southern Iowa farm girl, which is the biggest compliment she could be given.
Since winning the seat in 2014, Ernst said her hair has gotten longer, and “a heck of a lot grayer.”
“But folks, I am still a fighter,” she said. “I finally got sick of all of those negative ads being targeted at me. I told my campaign team we are going to have to fight back because I am not going to be that woman’s punching bag. We’re going to punch back.”
As an avid Harley rider, she compared the direction of the country to riding a Harley and coming to a fork in the road.
To the right, she said, is economic prosperity, freedom and choice.
“That’s what we as Americans love,” Ernst said. “But then there is the fork that goes to the left. This is the fork that my opponent is pursuing.
“My opponent is choosing the roadway that is paved with abortion on demand. Abortion extremists are backing my opponent. She believes in abortion at any point up until seconds before a baby is born and being able to kill that baby. Pretty darn extreme.”
Greenfield is also backed by supporters of the Green New Deal, Ernst said. In a decade, everyone will be driving electric vehicles if they get what they want.
“It would roll back the freedom and the choices that we have to do business the way we see fit here in Iowa,” Ernst said. “It would radically change the way we do our agriculture and our livestock industry.”
Ernst hit Greenfield on her assertion that law enforcement is “systemically racist.”
“She called our Iowa law enforcement officials racist,” Ernst said. “How many of you stand for the blue?”
After a standing ovation, Ernst added, “because we all know who we’re going to call when we need help.”
“I truly believe in this nation. And what we see right now is a move on the Left, a march towards socialism and the idea that they can fundamentally change who we are as the United States of America. Now I’ve worn the uniform. I know many of you have. OK, your feet have been in those boots. We still believe America is worth fighting for.
Ernst said at the end of the day, she may be “battered and bruised and bloodied, and may have a few broken ribs,” but she will crawl across the finish line first.