Iowa Senator Joni Ernst at KMA studios

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst at KMA studios

(Shenandoah) -- While not outright endorsing him, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is indicating her support for Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Trump all but secured the GOP nomination with a smashing victory in Tuesday’s Indiana Primary. In an interview in the KMA studios during a stop in Shenandoah Wednesday afternoon, Ernst reiterated earlier comments that she’ll support the Republican party’s nominee in the July convention in Cleveland.

“Whoever our nominee is coming out of the convention is who I’m going to support,” said Ernst. “That’s why I haven’t endorsed any one particular candidate, because I do want to see our party unified coming out of the election, and make a really good run for the fall election.”

Ernst, however, did express sympathy for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who withdrew from the presidential race following Trump’s victory in Indiana.

“I’m sorry to see Senator Cruz step out at this point,” she said, “but with Trump doing so well, I think that the handwriting on the wall. So, I’m excited about the opportunities that we have, and look forward to the convention. But, I will be supporting the nominee.”

The Red Oak Republican says Trump has the ability to unite the GOP.

“Donald Trump has been able to reach a lot of voters that maybe the mainstream GOP has not been able to reach,” said the senator. “We want to make sure that people understand we are for supporting a strong economy, and for job growth in the United States. And, we do stand for a strong national defense, and protecting our American citizens. Those are are all things we need to share with everyday voters out on the street. And, I think Donald Trump has done that.”

Among other things, Trump has been criticized for making inflammatory remarks about women during the primary campaign. Despite “the Donald’s” past remarks, Ernst insists she will still support him as the nominee.

“Any candidates will make statements that might be a little inflammatory,” she said. “But, I would say that, really, we need to start focusing on the policy, and the policy that works for every American. It’s not male, it’s not female. It’s making sure that government is getting out of the way, and we’re creating good jobs. That appeals to everyone. Making sure we’re protecting the United States. Again, that appeals to everyone. That’s what we need to focus on.”

Ernst adds she likes Trump’s chance against either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the November general election. We’ll have more from our interview with Joni Ernst in future news stories.

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