The Republican Senate candidate in Iowa seemed to lend some weight to the fringe conspiracy theory about the United Nations’ Agenda 21, a favorite of tea party icon Glenn Beck, according to a video published Wednesday by Yahoo News.
Ernst was asked in January at a county GOP event about Agenda 21, a non-binding sustainable development plan approved in 1992 that has fixated some on the far right as a means of imposing some kind of New World Order.
Based on her response at the time, via Yahoo, Ernst seemed familiar with the subject and took it seriously.
“The United Nations has imposed this upon us, and as a U.S. senator, I would say, ‘No more. No more Agenda 21.’ Community planning — to the effect that it is implementing eminent domain and taking away property rights away from individuals — I don’t agree with that,” Ernest said, per Yahoo. “And especially in a place such as Iowa, where we rely heavily upon our agricultural community, our rural communities. We don’t want to see things like eminent domain come into play.”
“We don’t want to see a further push with Agenda 21, where the Agenda 21 and the government telling us that these are the urban centers that you will live in; these are the ways that you will travel to other urban centers,” she continued. “Agenda 21 encompasses so many different aspects of our lives that it’s taking away our individual liberties, our freedoms as United States citizens. So I would adamantly oppose Agenda 21. I don’t believe it is responsible, not for United States citizens.”
Ernst is running in one of the tightest Senate races in the country and one that could determine the fate of the Senate. She trails the Democratic nominee, Rep. Bruce Braley, by 1 percentage point, according to TPM’s PollTracker average.
The Agenda 21 comments came before Ernst locked up the Republican nomination in June. And in an interview last week with Yahoo, Ernst appeared to dismiss the views that she had expressed in January.
“I don’t think that the U.N. Agenda 21 is a threat to Iowa farmers,” Ernst told the news agency. “I think there are a lot of people that follow that issue in Iowa. It may be something that is very important to them, but I think Iowans are very smart and that we have a great legislature here, we have a very intelligent governor, and I think that we will protect Iowans.”