News & Politics

WATCH: Town Hall Erupts in Boos When Republican Senator Says She 'Carefully Vetted' Betsy DeVos

Joni Ernst gets an earful from her Iowa constituency.

Joni Ernst.
Photo Credit: Joni Ernst's Senate website

A town hall meeting with constituents quickly grew contentious for Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) on Friday.

Several of Ernst’s responses to Iowans’ questions earned loud rebukes from the crowd, but none more so than her defense of voting in favor of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

“Why did you not listen to your constituents?” one audience member asked Ernst about the thousands of calls that flooded into her office urging her to oppose DeVos.

Ernst replied that DeVos had been “carefully vetted” by the Senate — at which point the audience exploded in boos.

Elsewhere during the meeting, Ernst earned some cheers for saying that President Donald Trump should release his tax returns, and for saying she’d push back hard on the president’s proposed cuts to the State Department.

Overall, though, she faced mostly confrontational questioning, as the audience expressed displeasure for her answers about cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and on her views on her own party’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Watch Ernst get booed below.

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs frequently at Sadly, No!.
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