Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) seemed to make an admission on Monday when she wondered aloud whether voters in Iowa would be supporting former Vice President Joe Biden (D) in the midst of the impeachment trial where Republicans have repeatedly tried to make him a leading figure.
Speaking to reporters in the basement of the Senate, Ernst said, “Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus-goers. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?”
Here’s that clip:
ERNST: "IA caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Demcaucus goers. Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point?"— Alan He (@alanhe) January 28, 2020
H/T @JaxAlemany pic.twitter.com/tYYkSPuIDY
The Biden campaign immediately jumped on Ernst’s remark, writing in a tweet, “Iowa caucus-goers take note. Joni Ernst just spilled the beans. She and Donald Trump are scared to death I’ll be the nominee.”
Iowa caucus-goers take note. Joni Ernst just spilled the beans. She and Donald Trump are scared to death I’ll be the nominee. On Feb. 3rd, let’s make their day. https://t.co/FKrqfxDW9L— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 28, 2020
In a statement, Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates declared, “Senator Ernst just said the quiet part out loud. Republicans are terrified that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, defeat Donald Trump, and help progressives up and down the ballot win seats in the House and take the Senate.”
Republican senators have repeatedly suggested that they will call Biden’s son Hunter Biden as a witness in the impeachment trial if they are given the opportunity to call witnesses. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — who also has a son with a habit of running afoul of the law — said, “I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more.”
Meanwhile, Democrats are pushing to hear from witnesses in the impeachment trial. Among other figures, they are hoping to hear from former top Trump aide John Bolton. However, they are seemingly trying to keep Republicans from pulling in witnesses like Biden and Democrats have shot down the idea of a witness trade.
Ernst’s slip was quickly compared by the famous 2015 admission by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.) who suggested that the Benghazi Committee was aimed at hurting Hillary’s polling numbers, as he said, “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”