Author: James Hohmann

Joni Ernst: Trump should ‘tone it down,’ focus more on issues

Joni Ernst does a walk through Friday of the venue where Donald Trump will speak Saturday. (Photo by James Hohmann/The Washington Post) DES MOINES — The night before Donald Trump flies to Iowa to speak at a motorcycle rally she’s organizing, Republican Sen. Joni Ernst called on the presidential candidates to “tone it down.” Ernst, who was briefly under consideration to be his running mate, declined to directly weigh in on the Republican nominee calling Hillary Clinton “a bigot.” “I’m not going to get into that,” she said Friday evening. “To both of them, I’d say, they need to take this into a civil discourse. I don’t like it when campaigns go that direction. I’d say to both of them, back down. And let’s really talk about the policies and the issues. That’s my advice to them.” Ernst wore black denim jeans and a Harley-Davidson T-shirt as she walked through a pavilion on the state fairgrounds where Trump will speak. Volunteers were pitching hay bales to build a stage as she spoke with a handful of reporters. Asked about Trump’s divisive rhetoric, Ernst said he would be much better served by “really focusing” on the economy, the Iran nuclear agreement and parochial Iowa concerns related to agriculture – in lieu of name calling. “He needs to say a lot of things, but I think focusing on Iowa right now...

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