DES MOINES — Joni Ernst said she will frame her first re-election campaign as a choice between socialism and liberty.
Ernst will kick off her re-election campaign Saturday at her annual Roast and Ride summer fundraiser at the Central Iowa Expo in Boone.
Ernst and organizers said the event is being moved inside because thunderstorms are forecast.
“I’m really excited about this, and I’m so glad to be engaging in the election cycle now, just full speed ahead,” Ernst said Friday during an interview at the state Republican Party offices.
Ernst said she will talk about her view of what’s happening across the country and highlight what she feels have been achievements during her first six-year term, especially during the past three years with Republican President Donald Trump.
Ernst also will frame Iowa’s U.S. Senate race as a choice between a country operating under a Democrat-led expansion of government and a Republican-led focus on “liberties and freedoms,” she said.
“What I’ll do is kind of compare and contrast the stark difference between a nation that could be controlled, top-down, by a heavy-handed government, versus one that celebrates liberties and freedoms,” Ernst said.
Ernst said it is to her advantage that more than 20 Democratic presidential candidates are barnstorming Iowa in an effort to secure their party’s nomination.
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She thinks the Democratic presidential race will spotlight liberal policies that will not be palatable to Iowa voters, like Medicare for all and the Green New Deal.
“Compare that to where we are as a nation and why we are the great nation we are — because we have freedoms and liberties and the ability to do what we want to do,” Ernst said.
To date, three Democrats are seeking the nomination to run against Ernst in 2020: Des Moines real estate businesswoman Theresa Greenfield, Des Moines businessman Eddie Mauro and Indianola lawyer Kimberly Graham.
The Democrats’ national organization that works to elect Senate candidates has endorsed Greenfield.
“I am very ready (for the campaign,)” Ernst said. “We’re going to do it.”
Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former governor of South Carolina, will speak at Saturday’s event.
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