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​GOP Senator Joni Ernst catches heat from voters over Trump and Biden

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Senator Joni Ernst takes questions from voters at a town hall in Templeton, Iowa, on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

CBS News


4:13 p.m.: The president’s repeated suggestion that world leaders should be investigating Joe Biden is riling some voters. In Templeton, Iowa, on Thursday, Republican Senator Joni Ernst was pressed by one woman about Mr. Trump’s assertion Thursday morning that China might want to look into Joe Biden.

“Just this morning, we have President Trump saying, ‘Oh, we need to talk to Xi Jinping, President Xi, and have him investigate Joe Biden,” the woman said. “How is that helping anybody?”

The question was greeted by scattered applause in the room.

The woman, who identified herself as an independent voter, said, “We get conspiracy theories and we get lies and everything else except what we really need to know, and what we really need him to do.”

“And where is the line? When are you guys going to say enough and stand up and saying, ‘I’m not backing any of this,'” she said, berating Ernst and her Senate colleagues.

“You still stand there silent, and your silence is supporting him and not standing up. You swore an oath. You didn’t pledge an oath to the president. You pledged it to our country. You pledged it to our Constitution,” she said to applause.

“When are you guys going to start standing up and actually be there for us?” she said.

Ernst responded, “I can say ‘Yay,’ ‘nay,’ ‘whatever.’ The president is going to say what the president is going to do. It’s up to us as members of Congress to continue working with our allies.”

When the questioner followed up with an inquiry about whistleblowers, Ernst replied, “Whistleblowers have to be protected. Please let folks out there know.” — Nancy Cordes and Alan He


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