Joni Ernst

Iowa Freedom Summit - Jan. 24, 2015

Joni Ernst
January 24, 2015— Des Moines, Iowa
Iowa Freedom Summit
Print friendly

Thank you so much. God bless you and God bless Iowa.

What a great day. It is wonderful to be serving as your United States senator.

And Steve, I'm still waiting on the draft of that speech. We had some good laughs over that. Yes, he said he would be happy to write my speech and I was waiting for the draft but he didn't get that to me in time.

But anyway, thank you Congressman so very much and thank you, Citizens United and David Bossie for this wonderful event. I told the Congressman backstage that we have got to find a bigger venue—we do. And that is a good thing—that is a good thing, folks. So thank you.

Thanks to all of the wonderful, wonderful guest speakers that we have joining us here today. It is an impressive, impressive lineup of speakers. And we're glad that they are taking the time to come to Iowa because we do have an important couple of years coming up. So thanks to them.

But especially thanks to all of you in attendance here today, because you are the grassroots of Iowa. You are the ones that are making the difference. So thanks so much for all that you're doing.

The energy that we have seen today—and believe me we can hear all of you in the back, you are plenty loud—but this energy, this is a telltale sign of great things to come. So this enthusiasm and this energy, it led to a tremendous victory in 2014… [applause] Thank you, thank you. [applause] Tremendous victory all across Iowa, so thank you for doing that.

But so we saw that in 2014, but we can't stop there. We can't stop there. We've got to take this enthusiasm and continue pushing forward. We have the momentum and we need to use it as we're going forward into 2016, too, most definitely.

So I want to say thank you, though. I had an amazing 2014 and again, I am proud to be serving as your United States senator. I could not have done this without you and we spoke loud and clear here in Iowa that we want to see a change, and that change has been delivered, that has been delivered. So thank you.

So anyway, as we were talking about a little bit of a speech that I gave on Tuesday evening—it was because of you. [applause] Thank you. It was because of you and this tremendous victory that we saw with our grassroots efforts across Iowa that gave me that opportunity to do the Republican address on Tuesday evening. And I am extremely grateful for that opportunity and I look forward to really great things to come as well.

If you did happen to watch the address on Tuesday evening, we talked about a number of things, rebutting the president and what he has stated. So, those things that we are going to work on on your behalf, those things that you sent us to Washington, DC, to do.

Of course reforming our tax code and closing those loopholes, not raising taxes like what the president has proposed. We should not do that our hard-working Americans. We also need to prioritize our spending. We need to cut that wasteful spending and we need to balance the budget. [applause] I haven't figured it out. I know that we have done that across Iowa. We've done it in our own state budget. For heaven sakes, we need to do in Washington, too.

Another thing that I spoke about the other evening—defending life. Defending innocent life. [applause] We as a society will be judged by how we take care of our most vulnerable within our population. That goes from the beginning of life to our natural death. [applause] So we need to make sure that everyone understands that we are compassionate and that we will defend this innocent life.

Another thing that I spoke about was developing—and this is important to me, all of you know how important this is to me—developing a comprehensive plan to address terrorism and threats to the United States. [applause] We must, we must have a strong plan, a plan to uphold our national defense and making sure that we are addressing the threats that are coming from ISIS and al Qaeda and all of these groups that are being radicalized by extremists.

And as I have said many times over—in order to solve a problem, you first have to identify that you have a problem. [applause] We have a problem and it is spreading worldwide and we do have to do something about this. Many of our allies have been terrorized in their homelands just as we saw on 9/11 and many times over send then. So we do have to have a comprehensive plan and I would be happy to work with the President on that comprehensive plan.

We do we have a little bill that we've been working on in the United States Senate. Matter fact we were up until 12:30 on Thurs—well actually it was Friday morning—voting on amendments far the Keystone Jobs Bill. [applause] And with this bill, amazingly, with a number amendments—because now we are actually working in the United States Senate—in the first three weeks of being in the United States Senate, we have voted on more amendments than they voted on in Harry Reid's Senate in all of 2014. [applause] We are working for you. We are working for you. So we are working on that Keystone Jobs Bill. We do intend to pass that and we will pass that on to the President's desk.

Now another thing that I mentioned in my speech the other evening was executive overreach. What we see coming from this president—too much overreach. He is taking on the jobs that I was sent to Washington, DC, to do, what Chuck Grassley does, what Congressman King does. We are legislators. The President is now. We need to stop that executive overreach—and that includes executive amnesty. [applause] Thank you.

The message that Iowa voters and voters all across the United States, that message that they sent in November of 2014, was heard loud and clear. And because of that message we now have a majority in the United States Senate. [applause] And I love it. Thank you. I love that. We have 54 wonderful Republican senators—54—but we're still six seats shy of that magical 60 number. We do need more senators and we need to keep the seat we have.

So as we're approaching 2016, understand we have another race here in Iowa that we will need to focus on. I have a phenomenal partner in the United States senator, and that partner's name is United States Senator Chuck Grassley. [applause] He has been a tremendous advocate for Iowa—all of Iowa, whether it is our manufacturing industry, our farmers, our seniors, our children. Chuck Grassley is—he is Iowa. He is Iowa. So we cannot take his race for granted. And so I am asking of you to continue with this wonderful effort that we had in 2014 and focus your efforts ahead to 2016, and make sure that we hold this seat in the United States Senate.

We want Iowa to remain red. We have worked so hard to get here. We will not be a purple state. We will not be a purple state. We will be a red state. [applause]

So let's work together for Senator Grassley. I know that we can. I expect to see you out there knocking on doors, making those phone calls. It is so important and that's why I am where I am today, because of the work that you did. I know we can all pull together and keep Senator Grassley exactly where he is.

We must maintain a majority but let's go a step further, too. Because what else is going to be important in 2016? I think we are all aware that we must take back the White House. [applause] If we expect, if we expect to get through this gridlock and pass and have signed into law the wonderful legislation that we are working on between the house and the Senate, we must have a Republican president.

And that's why I'm thrilled that all of you are here today to listen to a number of contenders for this phenomenal opportunity in 2016. I look forward to working with all of you as we go through the caucus season. And I hope that all of you will be involved in the Iowa caucuses. You should be involved in the Iowa caucuses and make your choice of candidate known to the rest of Iowa and to the rest of the United States of America. Very important process here and I hope that you will participate.

So I am going to leave you all now. We've got a great lineup of speakers. But I again want to say thank you for this tremendous opportunity that you have given to me. And I will be working hard on behalf of Iowa. I will be making sure that we keep Republican a red state. And I want to again thank you all for your grassroots efforts. We cannot, cannot do it without you.

So God bless all of you for your wonderful efforts. God bless this amazing state of Iowa, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you all so much. Thank you. [applause]

Speech from