Iowa Republican Joni Ernst is running for the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin, and she’s been campaigning on her history as a person who loves castrating hogs, often saying in her speeches that she plans to “make Obama squeal.” She’s super-classy.
And she’s also a true far right extremist, as these secretly recorded remarks highlighted yesterday by Greg Sargent reveal:
Joni Ernst wants to make America squeal
The audio was recorded by Radio Iowa, which didn’t highlight the key remarks at the time; the Iowa Democratic Party has only just come across those remarks now, and circulated them to reporters today.
In the audio, Ernst came out for a balanced budget amendment, said that would require “severe cuts,” reiterated her desire to eliminate the Department of Education, vowed a “good, hard look at entitlement programs,” and said electing a GOP Senate majority would be a key step towards all of this. She also said we are “encouraging people” to get on food stamps. And then she waxed philosophical:
“What we have to do a better job of is educating not only Iowans, but the American people that they can be self-sufficient. They don’t have to rely on the government to be the do-all, end-all for everything they need and desire, and that’s what we have fostered, is really a generation of people that rely on the government to provide absolutely everything for them. It’s going to take a lot of education to get people out of that. It’s going to be very painful and we know that. So do we have the intestinal fortitude to do that?…
“We’re looking at Obamacare right now. Once we start with those benefits in January, how are we going to get people off of those? It’s exponentially harder to remove people once they’ve already been on those programs…we rely on government for absolutely everything. And in the years since I was a small girl up until now into my adulthood with children of my own, we have lost a reliance on not only our own families, but so much of what our churches and private organizations used to do. They used to have wonderful food pantries. They used to provide clothing for those that really needed it. But we have gotten away from that. Now we’re at a point where the government will just give away anything.”
Look closer at these statements; what Ernst is saying is that if people can’t afford health insurance, or can’t get it because of pre-existing illness or catastrophic accident, they should be left on their own. Presumably to die, unless they can find a church with a “food pantry” to help them. And she’s advocating the destruction of Obamacare, the only safety net this country has successfully enacted yet for these people.
It’s rare to see the essential heartlessness of the Republican Party’s opposition to health care stated so nakedly — but it’s getting less rare all the time, as the extremists like Ernst continue pushing the window farther and farther to the right.