MUSCATINE, Iowa—With the Iowa Caucuses over, and local, state, and other national candidate races heating up ahead of the general election, Iowa’s United States Senator Republican Joni Ernst kicked off campaigning in the eastern part of the state with several events. On Saturday, Feb. 29, Ernst stopped in Muscatine, speaking in the Club Room of Hy-Vee on Second Street.
In a short speech, Ernst emphasized that she would work to maintain her senate seat despite the difficulties of representing a swing state. She acknowledged that her seat, “is the fifth most vulnerable Republican seat in the United States Senate.” However, she considered her work ethic and willingness to get to know voters positive traits that would give her an advantage over her challengers. “I will out work them,” she said. “I enjoy getting out and working with people.”
After speaking for about 10 minutes, Ernst took questions from those who came out to hear her . In response to a question about the peace deal the United States recently signed with the Taliban, Ernst explained that she supported efforts to end lengthy wars but considered maintaining peace in unstable areas her first priority. “What I do get concerned about is the stability of those governments and their ability to maintain peace after the withdrawal of American troops,” she stated. “I have been supportive of keeping a minimum number of troops to continue with training opportunities for Afghan security forces and the Afghan army,” she added.
In response to a question about earning the support of working-class voters, Ernst said she supported keeping private health insurance options available so that union members could keep the plans they already have. To answer a question about her stance on abortion legislation, Ernst confirmed that she would continue to support Senate Bill 130, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which if passed would require doctors to provide care to infants born through improperly performed abortions.
In an exclusive interview with Discover Muscatine following her event, Ernst shared that she chose to visit Muscatine to get to know voters in this region better. “It’s going to be a very busy year, so while I was in the area, I wanted to connect with a bunch of voters and really answer some questions and let them know what’s going on, both in D.C. and what we’ve got going on here across Iowa.” Ernst also stressed that her support of measures to lower prescription drug costs, protect both agricultural and conservation initiatives, help veterans, and implement cost savings measures at the federal level would appeal to area voters.