State Sen. Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, tried to explain away comments she made in January where she called President Obama a “dictator” and suggested that his impeachment should be on the table.
The new statement from Ernst’s campaign came after Yahoo News flagged video of Ernst at a candidate forum where she made the comments. Here’s Ernst’s statement in response to the recently resurfaced footage:
I was asked a question involving a hypothetical about what I thought should happen if the Supreme Court ruled that the president had committed an “abuse of power.” Obviously if the Supreme Court were to ever rule that the President of the United States had abused their power, that would be a very serious charge. I responded by saying that if the court in fact made such a ruling, that the president should face the necessary repercussions. I would give the same answer about any president, Republican or Democrat.
To be clear, I have not seen any evidence that the President should be impeached.
I obviously do not believe the president is a dictator, but his repeated use of unilateral action sure makes him look like one.
I hope [Democratic nominee Rep. Bruce Braley] would feel similarly about any chief executive whom the Supreme Court ruled had abused power.
At the forum Ernst was asked if the Supreme Court ruled Obama blatantly abused his power as president, should he be punished and how?
“I do think that yes, he should face those repercussions, and whether that’s removal from office, whether that’s impeachment,” Ernst said.
She added that many lawmakers are have stayed silent on Obama’s actions.
“They’re not speaking out against the president when he oversteps his bounds, when he makes those appointments, when he’s appointing czars, when he is producing executive orders in a threat to a Congress that won’t do as he wishes,” Ernst said. “So he has become a dictator.”