Joni Ernst, the Tea Party Republican taking on Democrat Bruce Braley to succeed the retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, declared at a 2012 NRA rally that she carries a gun to defender herself against the government, "should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
Speaking at the NRA and Iowa Firearms Coalition's Second Amendment Rally, Ernst said, “I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, 9 millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere. But I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family -- whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
Ernst's statement is reminiscent of remarks made by Tea Party Senate candidate Sharron Angle in 2010. Angle, the Nevada GOP's ultimately unsuccessful nominee against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said in an interview that year that the Second Amendment "is for us when our government becomes tyrannical."
"I'm hoping that we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies," Angle added. "I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems."
This year, guns have figured prominently in Ernst's Senate campaign. During the GOP primary campaign, Ernst released an ad that features the candidate pointing a gun at the camera and promising to "unload" on President Obama's healthcare reform law.
The newly unearthed video of Ernst's NRA speech adds to a litany of examples pointing to the Tea Partyer's extremism. The same year that she kept her weapon in part as a defense against the government, Ernst indicated on a questionnaire that she supported arresting federal officials for implementing Obamacare. During her Senate campaign, she has referred to President Obama as a "dictator" and said that his impeachment should be on the table, while she has also peddled far-right conspiracy theories, including the notion that the U.N. plans to seize Iowa farmers' land.
Watch Ernst's NRA remarks over at the Huffington Post.