'I'm Calling You Out': GOP Senator Uses Biden Nominee's Own Tweet Against Her During Confirmation Hearing
The adage says revenge is a dish best served cold, but there was plenty of heat Wednesday when Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa avenged a 7-year-old insult.
Ernst acted during what had appeared to be a routine confirmation hearing for members of the Tennessee Valley Authority when she focused upon nominee Beth Geer.
Geer has been chief of staff for former Vice President Al Gore since 2012, according to The Washington Times. Her paperwork talked about the importance of teamwork and civility.
Ernst began there.
After asking softball questions about Geer’s stated willingness to “build relationships and work together” and her belief that “civility is a fundamental aspect” of her role on the TVA board, the senator noted that attitude “appears to be a recent sentiment.”
Ernst then displayed a blown-up copy of a 2015 tweet from the time when Ernst delivered the Republican response to then-President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Geer had tweeted the word “Hideous” in reply to a Fox News tweet that included an image of Ernst and a quote from her response.
The senator read the tweet and asked Geer to explain it.
The nominee said she could not read it.
“I just read it to you. ‘Hideous,'” Ernst said.
“Well, I apologize if I offended you, and I appreciate your bringing it to my attention,” Geer said. “And I do, in fact, believe that civility is key, and I’m sorry that I did not demonstrate that, in your opinion, with that tweet.”
Ernst later returned to the subject.
“Maybe you’ve had time to refresh your memory a bit,” she said. “And I’m not sure if you’ve made a habit of calling women that disagree with you ‘hideous,’ or if it was simply an exception, but please let me be very clear. I stand by everything that I said in my State of the Union response back in 2015.”
The senator noted that the tweet Geer wrote was from before former President Donald Trump made rough-and-tumble tweets a staple of political life.
“This is prior to that. This is not ‘Iowa Nice,’ folks. And I’m calling you out,” she said.
Did Biden nominate ANYONE to his administration who didn’t have nasty tweets about Republicans?
Before she was a Biden nominee seeking Senate confirmation @bpa65 was a resistance tweeter attacking @SenJoniErnst‘s appearance as “hideous.”
Now she’s in front of her in committee. pic.twitter.com/N0DSBuVEil
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) April 6, 2022
Ernst then asked Geer for an explanation of her one-word reply.
“Miss Geer, when you called me hideous, were you referring to my appearance or to the views that I held and are held by many Americans across this country?” she said.
The nominee claimed the tweet was not a comment on Ernst’s looks.
“For the clarification, obviously, I was not calling you personally hideous and certainly not your appearance, and again I apologize if it came across that way. I mean no disrespect,” Geer said.
But that did not appease Ernst.
“Ma’am, I’ll cut you off right there,” she said. “How else could this come across? The word ‘hideous,’ to me, only has one meaning.”
She continued, “The views I expressed in my State of the Union response were personal experiences. So maybe you didn’t appreciate that I grew up on a small, rural farm in an economically disadvantaged area of Iowa.
“Maybe you didn’t like that my mother had to put bread bags on my shoes when I went to school. Maybe you didn’t like that.
“But a lot of Americans have had the same experiences that I have had. And so to call my personal views as ‘hideous’ is an affront to half of America.”
Ernst added that “in a world that is begging for civility, we should give them that civility.”
She said she doubted Geer could embrace civility and that despite her tradition of bipartisanship, she would vote against Geer’s nomination.
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