A day after state Sen. Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, distanced herself comments resurfaced from January in which she called President Barack Obama a dictator and said should be impeached, reports surfaced that she’d made similar claims as recently as within the last two weeks.
Yahoo News and The Daily Beast noted on Wednesday that Ernst said she supported the idea of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) moving to impeach the president on June 27 during a radio interview with WHO Radio’s Simon Conway.
In the interview, Conway suggested that Boehner should move to impeach Obama and Ernst agreed with him.
“So, shouldn’t [Boehner] simply impeach him?” Conway said during the radio interview roughly two weeks ago.
“Right,” Ernst said at first.
“If he thinks he has a case?” Conway added.
“If he thinks he has a case, then he should proceed with that,” Ernst said.
“With impeachment?” Conway then said.
“Yeah. And that would be up to him. I’m not encouraging or discouraging it. John Boehner is making John Boehner’s choices,” Ernst said. “But, we know we have a long ways to go, and I think this election is going to be that turning point.”
Ernst’s comments from January — in which she said Obama “has become a dictator” and should face “repercussions” which may include impeachment — surfaced just hours after tea party favorite Sarah Palin started making a strong push for impeachment, even saying that Boehner’s forthcoming lawsuit against Obama over executive orders didn’t go far enough. When Boehner was asked about Palin’s statements on Wednesday, he simply said, “I disagree.”
On Tuesday evening, Ernst’s campaign backed off from the January statement, and released a clarification saying she had “not seen any evidence that the President should be impeached” and that she “obviously do not believe the president is a dictator, but his repeated use of unilateral action sure makes him look like one.”
TPM reached out to Ernst’s campaign and will update when a statement is released.