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NO APOLOGY: Ernst Denies Democrats’ Demand

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Friday, Republican U.S. Senate Joni Ernst said she made an "innocent mistake" when she said during a Thursday night debate that a mass killing in California was a "horrible accident."

A man killed six people near the University of California Santa Barbara campus. Ernst twice during the debate called the incidents a "horrible tragedy." In a followup response, she made the comment about a "horrible accident."

The Iowa Democratic Party, along with Democratic groups used press releases, social media and news conference to denounce the remarks and demanded an apology from Ernst for being insensitive to the victims.

“It’s clear that Ernst is so fiercely partisan, so rigidly ideological, and so beholden to the special interests fueling her campaign that she is unable to even comprehend another viewpoint on these important issues,” said Representative Marti Anderson, a Des Moines Democrat. Anderson added, “As a mother and a longtime advocate for victims of violence, I find the idea that a premeditated, violent mass shooting can be described as an ‘unfortunate accident’ incredibly concerning and wrong."

But following a campaign rally in Davenport Friday afternoon, Ernst said her comment was simply a slip of the tongue. Ernst said, "When I said 'accident,' I meant 'incident.' It was an innocent mistake on my part."

Ernst added her disappointment Democrats are trying to make political points with what she inadvertently said. Ernst said, "It was a horrible, horrible tragedy. And what I don't like is the fact that Democrats are now playing it up using this for politics when it's a horrible tragedy."

Ernst talked to Channel 13 following her appearance at Davenport's St. Ambrose University. Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican presidential nominee joined her, as did Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. Both have endorsed Ernst' campaign against four other candidates in the primary for the U.S. Senate.

Aides confirm another V.I.P. backer will campaign for Ernst Monday. Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, is scheduled to come to Iowa. But Ernst's campaign was not ready to release details of the visit yet.


  • Justice

    Of course democraps will jump on anything where it is true or not. During a debate how easy it is to say a word wrong? Maybe we should all try it.

  • Rebecca Hergert

    I do think she belongs somewhere at our Nations Capital. But NOT as a Senator.
    Maybe in the Agri Department with Tom Vilsack. Since she is a farm girl.
    I think she needs to lighten-up on her ads/speaking out in public. She’s too direct/blunt!!!

  • Right Wing Patriot

    This is no different than Obama mistakenly calling the number of states in the Union at 53 or something like that. Give me a break. When you speak in public as much as these folks do, innocent errors will be made. I’m glad she clarified her miss-speak and I’m glad she didn’t apologize. Good grief.

  • William Denison

    The only pig I hear squealing is Joni herself about every 11 minutes during the nightly news.

  • Kyra

    Good. I’m sick to death of people being offended and backing others into a corner for a fake apology. I’m not a fan nor an opponent of this woman. I’m just tired of everyone demanding an apology everytime someone else opens his/her mouth.

  • Godfrey Cromwell

    With our nation drowning in unsustainable debt, what has happened to the Democratic Party of Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey?

    • Stiffy Gobbler

      I know what you mean. I miss the Reagan and Bush familys years with their recessions and depression along with their wars, bank fraud and housing crisis. I’m sure I’m forgetting lots of other stuff.

  • William Denison

    Jonis neighbor in Red Oak shot up another man at a cookout there and then shot himself last night.

  • shelly r

    My brother works with someone that served with her. She is not what she has portrayed herself to be. Her political image is smoke and mirrors, no substance. And these are words from my brother, the Republican! I find her to be an embarrassment to the state. Anyone that panders to Sarah Palin, and thinks that helps her crediblity, is laughable.

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