Ernst hosts fourth motorcycle Roast & Ride


Senator Joni Ernst (R- Iowa) greets supporters at her fourth annual Roast & Ride. (Rod Boshart, the Gazette)
Senator Joni Ernst (R- Iowa) greets supporters at her fourth annual Roast & Ride. (Rod Boshart, the Gazette)

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DES MOINES — Scores of motorcycle riders had ideal conditions of partly overcast skies and 80-degree temperatures for today’s fourth annual Roast & Ride put on by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst.

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Ernst, a Red Oak Republican, was accompanied by a huge star-spangled and leather entourage that included Gov. Kim Reynolds and her husband, Kevin, on the 45-mile trek from Des Moines to Boone, where participants planned to feast on barbecue pork with all the fixings and a full slate of political speeches.

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Ernst was joined in Des Moines at the ride’s launch at Big Barn Harley-Davidson by Travis Mills, an injured veteran from Maine who has a foundation that provides retreats and other assistance for veterans and their families. Ernst said the Mills foundation will be the recipient of the ride portion of Saturday’s fundraising event.

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Talking with reporters before heading north as a lead in the motorcycling-riding portion of the day’s festivities, Ernst said she “very excited” about the prospects in Singapore when President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hold their much-anticipated summit June 12.

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“We have faced a nuclear North Korea for quite awhile now. That is something we don’t want to face and so the president is attempting to address that,” she said. “Now, it’s a two-way street. The North Koreans have to want to play as well and so we hope that Kim Jong Un will step up to the plate, will visit with the president and we will have some good results hopefully. Again, we have to remind everyone, this is just a first step. This is a long road, but we hope that the North Koreans will be compliant.”

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The first-term Iowa senator was less enthusiastic about the G-7 summit where President Donald Trump has suggested allowing Russia to rejoin, telling reporters: “I haven’t spoken to the president about this. He kind of sneaked up with his comments the other day.”

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Ernst said she believe the U.S. and its allies with work through their current trade difference but as far as a welcoming gesture to Russia, she said “I don’t trust the Russians any further than we can throw them and so I would have to think long and hard about that because I just don’t know that they would contribute the way that we would want them to contribute as the United States of America.”

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Ernst also was asked about prospects for the Trump administration to maintain its commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard and recent differences she and others have had with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. She told reporters if Pruitt’s Senate confirmation vote was now instead of last year, it would be “a hard press” for her to back his EPA appointment.

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“I would say that I appreciate what he did for Waters of the U.S. and some of the other regulatory relief, but I’ve got some real heartburn over the fact that he has been undermining the RFS, and I’ve called him a liar. What he put on paper to me, he is not standing by. If the vote were today, he would be hard pressed to get a yes out of me,” Ernst noted.

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“He’s very swampy and we’re trying to drain the swamp, right?” she added. “Even outside of the RFS, there are a lot of other transgressions out there that Scott Pruitt has had that the American taxpayer does not appreciate. So he’s got a long ways to go to repair any damage he’s done in our relationship, what little there was.”

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Ernst was joined at the Boone leg of her Roast & Ride event by South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy.

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Comments: (515) 243-7220; rod.boshart@thegazette.com

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About Craig Ballantyne 13863 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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