As if it’s not bad enough that Joni Ernst compared low wage workers, college students, and seniors, to the squealing pigs she used to castrate, now she says that it’s one reporter’s opinion that only one person in the U.S. has Ebola. The Washington Post reports that she got into a bit of back-and-forth with Esquire’s Charlie Pierce over her statement that President Obama has been “very hands-off” when it comes to dealing with the Ebola crisis. The exchange, as reported in the Post, went like this:
“What should he have done about Ebola?” Esquire blogger Charlie Pierce asked her. “One person in America has Ebola.”
“OK, you’re the press, you’re giving me your opinion,” Ernst said.
“It’s not an opinion, only one person in America has it,” he said.
“Yes, but [Obama] is the leader, he is the leader of our nation,” she said. “So what he can do is make sure that all of these agencies are coordinating together, to make sure he is sharing with the American people he cares about them, he cares about their safety.”
“You don’t think he does?” he said.
“I don’t know that he does, he hasn’t demonstrated that,” she said.
“You don’t think he’s demonstrated that he cares about the American people?” he said.
“He hasn’t,” she said. “I’m done. So anybody else?”
The Post’s Ben Terris then pointed out that Joni Ernst is another one of those Teapublicans that whines about Obama not leading and not caring, and then screams that he’s being a dictator. We don’t know which it is, since, by definition, a dictator cannot also be a weak, apathetic leader.
Talking Points Memo reports that Joni Ernst’s spokesman said that, when she claimed Pierce was giving his opinion, it was clear to all that she meant he was giving his opinion of the election. He believes that was clear to every other reporter that was at the event where she made these comments.
Except…that’s just backpedaling, because it’s not clear at all. Her comments sound, on the audio, just like they read in the Washington Post, and above. There’s no lost context, there are no deleted words. So, instead of clarifying, she’s backpedaling. And of course she is because she’s now afraid she stuck her foot in her mouth with a really idiotic comment.
It’s not “opinion” that one person in America has Ebola right now, any more than it’s “opinion” that the sun will rise tomorrow, or that it’s “opinion” that there is a cat stretched out on this writer’s desk at the moment. Whatever it is that Joni Ernst wants people to think she meant with her statement, she definitely said that it’s Pierce’s opinion that only one person has Ebola in the U.S.. Listen to the audio below, from Talking Points Memo, and decide for yourself what she meant:[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/175180161″]