A Republican candidate for Senate said in a radio interview that the Speaker of the House should “should proceed” with impeaching President Obama.
In a June radio interview, Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, said that if John Boehner “thinks he has a case [to impeach President Obama], then he should proceed with that.” Ernst went on to note that decision is up to Boehner, “I’m not encouraging or discouraging it—John Boehner is making John Boehner’s choices.”
The remark made on WHO Radio’s Simon Conway show comes to light just one day after Ernst received national attention for remarks made in January calling Obama a “dictator” and suggesting that he should face impeachment over recess appointments that were made to executive agencies. She said if the Supreme Court found those appointments unconstitutional (which it did in a recent 9-0 decision in Noel Canning) “he should face those repercussions, and whether that’s removal from office, whether that’s impeachment.”
Ernst’s campaign responded in a clarifying statement that this was “a hypothetical.” The Iowa state senator said “Obviously if the Supreme Court were to ever rule that the President of the United States had abused their power, that would be a very serious charge. I responded by saying that if the court in fact made such a ruling, that the president should face the necessary repercussions.” Ernst’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment from The Daily Beast.
However, while Ernst says impeachment is Boehner’s decision, it seems the Speaker won’t be doing so. In a news conference Wednesday morning, Boehner came out against impeachment when asked about it saying simply “I disagree.” The calls among conservatives to try to impeach the President gained new steam when former reality star Sarah Palin came out in favor of impeachment in a Breitbart op-ed Tuesday. She joins a handful of other right wingers who have called for impeachment such as former one-term Florida congressman Allen West.
Ernst faces Democrat Bruce Braley,a four-term incumbent congressman, in November in what is expected to be one of the more competitive Senate races this cycle. Current polling gives Braley, who supported impeachment proceedings against then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2007, a slight lead in the race to succeed longtime Democrat Tom Harkin.