Joni Ernst delivers GOP response to president's weekly address

Ernst criticizes health care reform in video to air on Iowa radio and TV stations

CEDAR RAPIDS — An Iowa state senator who has called the President Obama a dictator and said his impeachment should be “on the table will deliver the GOP weekly address in response to the president.

However, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat, doesn’t mention either topic during her five-minute weekly address, which will air nationwide.

Instead, she laments that Washington “is full of liberals who think government is the solution to every problem.”

“They think that nothing can be solved unless Washington is involved,” said. The result, she said, a federal government that “tells us what doctors to see, what kinds of light bulbs to use, and in some places, even how much soda we can drink.”

“Today,” Ernst said, “to get America back on track it is going to take each of us working together to advance real solutions to our problems — not more tired rhetoric.”

Ernst, who is running against Democratic 1st District Rep. Bruce Braley for the Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, was selected by the Republican National Committee to respond to President Obama’s weekly address. Recent polls have shown a tight race.

Ernst, a battalion commander in the Iowa National Guard, taped the five-minute address Thursday before she left for her Guard unit’s annual training in Wisconsin. She will be refraining from participation in any political activities until the training ends July 26. However, her campaign is raising funds through the sale of #OnDutyForJoni T-shirts at $30 each.

In her address, Ernst criticized Obama’s health care reforms, saying the Affordable Care Act is making health care worse.

“We need, and must demand, more individual control over our health care decisions, not less,” she said. “Parents and doctors know what’s best when it comes to the health of their child — not the government.”

She also called for preserving and protecting Medicare and Social Security, and called for Republicans to join Democrats who think the programs must be reformed in order to make them sustainable.

The address can be found on YouTube at and at A number of Iowa radio and TV stations will air her remarks following the president’s weekly address.

Other Iowans to deliver the weekly address include Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2009 and former Rep. Jim Nussle in 2000.

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