Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) sat down with Fox News Radio's Guy Benson to discuss a variety of topics including Senate Democrats blocking two Pro-Life bills, the Democratic Debate in South Carolina and her thoughts on whether the Caucus needs to go after the fiasco in Iowa.
Guy Benson: We are back from Madison, Wisconsin, today, the Guy Benson Show. Thank you for listening. Guy Benson, show dot.com. Joining me now is Senator Joni Ernst, U.S. senator from the great state of Iowa. She's a Republican. She'll be speaking tomorrow morning at C-PAC back in D.C.. Senator, great to have you back.
Sen. Ernst: Oh, great to be on with you guy. Thank you.
Guy Benson: I want to begin with something that happened in the U.S. Senate yesterday. There was a lengthy and acrimonious debate over two bills, one called the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was Lindsey Graham's bill, which would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks or the sixth month of pregnancy and beyond, with a few exceptions. And then Senator Ben Sasse, your Republican colleague from Nebraska, had the born alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would simply say if a baby survives an abortion and is born. The doctor must provide lifesaving care to that person after the botched abortion, and now you have a born alive infant. And the Democrats in the Senate, I think, to their great shame, filibustered both of these bills. I mean, one would have, I would imagine, more than 80 percent support in the country. We've seen polling on the 20 week ban that is widely supported across the political spectrum, including a lot of Democrats and a majority of independents. But Senate Democrats killed both of these bills with a filibuster. I know that you were in favor of both of them. So was a majority in the United States Senate, 56 votes in favor of Ben. Senator Ben Sasse, bill, 53 votes in favor of Senator Graham's bill. But they needed 60. You needed 60 because of this filibuster. Your response to what you saw in the debate and the votes yesterday?
Sen. Ernst: Yes, I think it is shameful. Both of these bills are commonsense pieces of legislation. If you look at the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. It's a straightforward bill. All we were asking for is a consistent standard of care for newborn babies. And they left will make this an argument about abortion and a woman's right to choose. And we reject that. And Ben Sasse is very eloquent when he talks about this may cause what we are saying is there is nothing in the bill that addresses abortion. What this does address is when a baby has been born from a botched abortion attempt. So we are talking about a live baby that is there on the table at that clinic or hospital. It is a baby. And he or she should be given the same level of care that any doctor would give to any other child born at that same gestational age. We're not talking about abortion, folks. We are talking about a living, breathing human being who is separate from the mother. So that one should have been common sense, but it was rejected, by and large, by those on the far, far left. Now the pain capable unborn child act again,.
Guy Benson: By the way. Let me just. Senator, let me just interrupt, because I just want to underscore one point that you just made about this infanticide prevention bill that the Democrats killed on CNN. CNN is right up. It's interesting watching the media. The media. I don't think is more biased on any issue, more than any issue or any legislation or controversy that is tied to the abortion question. They are just in many cases, I think, hopeless. So CNN had there right up on this where they were trying to make both of these bills about abortion, even though, as you explain on the infanticide, one, this is is not about abortion anymore. This is how CNN described an infant, a born child, quote, a fetus that has been born.
Sen. Ernst: Oh, for heaven's sakes,.
Guy Benson: What like what is that?
Sen. Ernst: Yes. That would be called a baby.
Guy Benson: Yeah, that's that's how the English language works. I mean, but it's it's it's striking how they have to contort themselves to try to dehumanize a born infant, to call that to call her. In this case, a fetus that has been born to me, it is unconscionable. The vote was 56, 41, 56 in favor of passing this. But Democrats, with a handful exception, linked arms and said now we're going to block it on Senator Graham's bill, which has been nicknamed mikos Law, which was named after a now seven year old boy named Micah Pickering, who was born prematurely at just 22 weeks. This is getting into the realm of abortion legislation, of course, and it's saying, with a few exceptions about the life of the mother, rape and incest. When a pregnancy has entered month six and a child in utero can feel pain, it's no longer acceptable to end that pregnancy and end that life again. A majority of the U.S. Senate said, yes, most Americans would agree. But Democrats who want to portray you, frankly, Senator Ernst, they want to portray the majority of the U.S. Senate, including women who voted for these bills as extremists who are against women. And it's just it's amazing how they claim the mantle of being pro woman and how they use the word extremism in this massive episode of projection when it's their view that is empirically extreme.
Sen. Ernst: Exactly. And that the bill named Micah US law is after Michael Pickering, who is one of my constituents from Newton, Iowa. And Micah was born at just 20 weeks post. Fertilization, and he is seven years old today. When he was born, he was about the size of a bag of Emond Ms. And he has a wonderful, happy, healthy young boy. I just saw him the other day ahead of the vote. And a baby at that age is viable, that that is a living human being. They feel pain in the uterus. And we are one of only seven nations that allows these late term abortions or elective abortions after 20 weeks. And we fall into the category with China and North Korea and some of the worst, Russia, human. Yes, human rights violators. You know, this is what folks in China do. This is what folks in North Korea do. We know where they stand on human rights. Why do we want to be in the company of those nations and deprive these babies of life, especially when you can not argue the fact they feel pain. They are babies. They feel pain. So I am just so heartbroken with where the Democrats are on the issue of life. They really are the party of late term abortion and now including infanticide. And we've seen this on that on the debate stage. They're not afraid to flaunt it. And it's it's really gotten to a point of of absolute disgust, I think, for so many of us that don't see them as valuing human life anymore.
Guy Benson: Well, it's it's barbaric. And these are human rights bills that were killed by the filibuster yesterday from these Democrats. And, you know, if you look at the polling, the Democratic, at least the national Democratic position is becoming abortion on demand, elective abortion on demand for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy with sort of a question mark shortly after birth paid for by taxpayers, including for illegal immigrants. That's their position. It is held by like 10 percent of the public. And yet they have the gall to stand here and pretend like you are the extremists. It's really something to witness. Senator, one small irony that I would point out last night watching the Democratic debate, they had a big fight about the filibuster, actually with Elizabeth Warren and Pete Bhuta judge and others saying you have to get rid of the legislative filibuster to accomplish things such as gun control. I would simply point out to some of our friends on the left if they got their wish in the last Congress before the Democrats took over the House. The 20 week abortion ban passed, both chambers of Congress were passed the House and had a majority in the Senate, and President Trump was ready to sign it without the filibuster. We would have a very, I think, common sense and more humane abortion law on the books today. And they didn't bring that into their conversation last night, because I think in their minds, if they get rid of the filibuster, it will help them do the things that they want. They don't really think about when the shoes on the other foot, which they should, because last time they nuked a filibuster, it's come back to bite them on judges. I want to ask you a different question on a different subject, Senator Ernst, at the debate. Last night, Bernie Sanders was asked about Israel in cut, 33. Here is his response.
Video Clip: Would you move the U.S. embassy back to Tel Aviv? Let me just. The answer is it's something that we would take into consideration, which would here. Excuse me. But here is the point. I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months. But when I happened to believe is that right now, sadly, tragically in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country. And I happen to believe I happen to believe that what our foreign policy in the Mideast should be about is absolutely protecting the independence and security of Israel. But you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Guy Benson: Senator, let's just set aside for the moment the virulently anti Israel and in some cases anti-Semitic surrogates and staffers that Bernie Sanders has on his team. It was very striking to me the harshness of his assessment about Benjamin Netanyahu, the democratically elected prime minister of Israel, who he called a reactionary racist. And you look at that kind of language about the leader of Israel vs. what he's been saying or not saying about the likes of Fidel Castro for decades. I mean, it's it's hard not to draw some conclusions, Senator.
Sen. Ernst: Absolutely. And jeepers, that that kind of language and the way he's talking or talking about foreign, you know, foreign interference by Bernie Sanders in these election processes, you know, by trying to influence people. But, you know, what I would say is that especially with the if you just even look at the move, that he would consider the move of the embassy back to tell a veev that that was a directive from Congress to the president years ago, you know, that was passed by Congress. So the fact that we finally have a president who now is following the law by moving the embassy. Bernie Sanders needs to remember that would need to go back through Congress. So I think that we have done the right thing in this administration. Great kudos to President Trump for following through with something that should have been done many, many years ago, a promise that was made, a promise that has been kept. But certainly our pro-Israel friends, you know, no matter what their stripe, no. No matter what their party, they need to look at that type of rhetoric that's coming from those candidates on the left on where they stand and supporting Israel. And really put that into play.
Guy Benson: And he won't even attend a PAC, which is bipartisan, which is mainstream, which is made up of people who support Israel, who are fans of Benjamin Netanyahu and those who are not. But he is boycotting APAC yet again. He talks about in that clip, you have to remember and not ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people. I agree. The problem is who's responsible for that suffering? It is Hamas is the Palestinian leadership. They are the ones who refused to renounce violence against civilians. They are the ones who refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist. And if you don't have those things to focus on, Israel is the problem to me is just blinkered and morally obtuse. Totally blind.
Sen. Ernst: Yes. And if you look at who funds Hamas, who funds Hezbollah. If you look to the funding streams that are coming into those terrorist organizations which will target Israel. It's all coming from Iran. And you know who has been supporting Iran with the influx of cash and then the Iranian nuclear deal. You know, those are issues that the Democrats have largely wrapped their arms around, supported. I ran, for heaven's sakes, when General Suleimani was wiped off the face of the planet by this administration and this president. They didn't know how to. react because yay, good that this horrible, horrible terrorist and man is gone, but oh, for heaven's sakes, we don't want to upset. Iran. So again, there's there's a lot of quandary within the Democratic Party. They know what the right thing is, but they're afraid to say it.
Guy Benson: Yeah, well, they're afraid of the base. And the problem is Bernie Sanders encapsulates. He personifies the base and he's a true believer. Last question, Senator Ernst. It's about your state. A bit of a black eye for the Iowa caucuses, at least on the Democratic side of the aisle. A number of weeks ago, we saw Nevada's Democratic Party come out with a statement. It looks like they're going to be moving to a primary in the future. There are people saying because of the fiasco in Iowa, where there still aren't final final results of who actually won, that the first in the nation status might be threatened for your state, where maybe a caucus would have to go and be replaced by something else. What's your response to that? Do these folks have a point, given sort of the the meltdown that they had?
Sen. Ernst: Well, I still firmly, firmly stand behind our first in the nation status. And and the caucus has been a very long standing tradition in Iowa. And then the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire, the Democrats really, really, you know, really met. They mess things up. But I would say that basically what the Republican Party in Iowa does for the caucuses is one person, one vote. How much easier can it be? But the Democrats have a very convoluted process and caucusing where they vote. They can vote and then they move to a different group. If you're supporting a non-viable candidate and it becomes very confusing. Most people don't know how to run those caucuses. And the people attending those caucuses certainly don't know what's going on half the time either. So I think that if there are changes to be made, we certainly would want to maintain that first in the nation status. I think that that is very important. And of course, the candidates themselves, if they look at the state of Iowa and the, you know, pressing the flesh and getting out there and meeting the voters, a lot of them really appreciate it, because Iowa is a very low cost state to come in and actually meet with voters and they'll get really great questions from those Iowa voters. Senator, I'll maintain first in the nation,.
Guy Benson: Senator, were up on a break, so we've got to leave it there. U.S. Senator Joni Ernst has been my guest. She's a Republican from Iowa, speaking tomorrow morning at C-PAC. She's up for reelection this year in the Hawkeye State. Senator, thank you so much for your time.
Sen. Ernst: Thanks, guy. Have a great day.
Guy Benson: You, too. All right. We'll take a break and be right back. It's the Guy Benson Show.