Joni Ernst

Senate Victory Speech - Nov. 4, 2014

Joni Ernst
November 04, 2014— West Des Moines, Iowa
Print friendly

Thank you, thank you! Oh my goodness, thank you, Iowa! [applause]

Oh my. Thanks so much for being here on this special evening.

Just a few minutes ago, I got off the phone with Bruce Braley. I congratulated him on running a phenomenal campaign. He was a worthy opponent. He was a worthy opponent. And he was willing to sacrifice to fight for what he thought was right. We didn't agree on much, but I admire – I do admire – anyone who is willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in. [applause]

Well, Iowa, well, Iowa – we did it! We did it! [applause]

It's a long way from Red Oak to Washington. From the biscuit line at Hardee's to the United States Senate. [applause]

But thanks to all of you, we are heading to Washington. [applause] And we are going to make 'em squeal! [applause] Thank you, thank you.

This morning I was voting in Red Oak, and as I looked around, I noticed that this is about as different as you can get from Washington, D.C. In Washington, politicians are more interested in talking than doing. They ignore problems, hoping they'll go away.

But you know what – ISIS isn't just going to go away. The almost $18 trillion of national debt is not just going to go away. Our economic struggles aren't just going to go away. And our problems aren't just going to go away on their own.

But we can overcome them. Because this is the greatest nation in the history of mankind… [applause] …and there is nothing that we cannot achieve. We are going to do this.

But to get there starts with new leadership. [applause] And that's what Iowa has voted for today. [applause]

We've talked a lot in this campaign about Iowa values – honesty, service and hard work. Knowing the value of a dollar, and not to waste it. These are the values that our parents and grandparents have taught us. These are the values that my mother taught me on rainy mornings, not with a lecture or a book, but with plastic bread bags.

You see, growing up I only had one good pair of shoes. And so on those rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over my shoes to keep them clean and dry. You know what I'm talking about. Thank you. And you know what – it wasn't high fashion but I was never embarrassed. And it worked. And it worked. So it wasn't high fashion and I wasn't embarrassed, because every day, when it rained, and I got on the school bus, there were rows and rows and rows of other kids just like me with plastic bread bags tied to their feet. These were the sons and daughters of hard-working Iowans.

And our parents didn't have much, but what they did have they worked very hard for. They taught us to live simply, not to waste and to help our neighbors. And they taught us to thank god every day that we live in this special place that we call Iowa. [applause]

People ask me all the time what my favorite part of the campaign has been. I think tonight – nothing is going to beat tonight. But before tonight, my favorite part of the campaign was going through the Iowa State Fair – and believe me, I hugged my way through the Iowa State Fair – and if you got within five feet of me, it was probably because I was trying to hug you. I love the state fair, because it truly is a celebration of what is best about Iowa – our agriculture, our manufacturing, our technology, our community and our family. That's who we are, and that's the Iowa way. [applause]

And our Iowa way is working, and it's not luck or an accident. It's because we have the greatest people, and we have the greatest governor and lt. governor of any state in the nation. [applause]

Here in Iowa, we understand that America's greatness doesn't come from its government, but it does come from our people. And look at the result. Look at the result. In the last four years, we've lowered taxes, reduced job-killing rules and regulations, and we've balanced our budget every single year. [applause] And we have created, we've created, up to 150,000 new, good-paying jobs, while personal income is growing at the 4th fastest rate in the United States. That's the Iowa way. [applause]

Now let's look at what they're doing in Washington. Higher taxes, more spending, more debt and the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression. But tonight, we're taking the Iowa way all the way to Washington. [applause]

And let me tell you exactly what that means to me. It means I trust Iowans know what's best for Iowa more than bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. [applause] It means getting spending under control, keeping taxes low, and cutting red tape so businesses can grow and invest. It means preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare, not just for today's seniors but for future generations to come. And it means keeping America strong in the world, because the world is a safer place when America is the strongest nation in it. [applause] And it means fighting, it means fighting every day for the men and women who wear our nation's uniform and the veterans who have worn it in the past. [applause] They have sacrificed so much and risked everything to protect our freedoms. They deserve better than what they're getting from Washington today. And I can tell you, when I go to the United States Senate, I am going to make sure they get what they have earned and they deserve. [applause]

There are so many people that I want to thank tonight. First I want to start with my family. They have been there, they have sacrificed so much during this campaign cycle. [turning to family behind her on the stage] And family…family…I love you all so very much. Thank you for being there for me. [applause]

I also want to thank all of my many, many, many wonderful supporters, who were always willing to lend a helping hand and pray for me and my family. And I have so many of you here. They've known me for my entire life, many of you. And again, I want to thank you for always being there, always being supportive and helping me on this incredible journey from Montgomery County all the way to Washington, D. C. Thank you so much. [applause]

And lastly, I do want to thank those Iowans who voted today for my opponent. I plan to work day and night to earn your trust and confidence in years to come, so thank you. [applause]

So in closing, I do want to say something about this incredible country that all of us call home. As they say, only in America. Here in the fields of Iowa, our grandparents worked and dreamed of a better life for their children. Many, like mine, had very little to call their own, but they were determined to give their children a chance to succeed. And so they did. And because they did, they gave an ordinary Iowan extraordinary opportunities, opportunities that they could only dream of.

And in the Senate, that's the kind of American that I am going to fight for every single day. Every single day. [applause] An American where, no matter who your parents are or what neighborhood you grew up in, you have the chance to succeed. An America where it doesn't matter who you know – all that matters is how hard you work and what you can do. And working together – that's the America that we are going to build, that we are going to build. [applause]

And with your help, and with your help, we can change direction and take the Iowa way all the way to Washington, D.C.

God bless all of you, God bless the state of Iowa, and God bless these great United States of America. Thank you so much. [applause]

Speech from