DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has canceled a meeting with The Des Moines Register's editorial board, saying her time was better spent campaigning in Iowa.
Editors at the newspaper said Ernst's campaign notified them Wednesday night that she wouldn't attend the Thursday meeting. Publisher Rick Green said he was disappointed.
"Undecided voters I talk to want Sen. Ernst to break through the rhetoric and cacophony of campaign ads about hogs, Obamacare and balanced budgets. It's a time for sharing specifics," Green said in a statement.
Ernst, a state lawmaker and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, is locked in a tight race against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley. She said she was focused on talking to voters.
"I have got a tight schedule," Ernst said before a campaign event Thursday. "What I need to do is really reach out to undecided voters. So we decided we're going to drive on and get out to those counties and make sure I'm connecting with actual people one on one."
Ernst spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel issued a statement saying the Register's recent editorials make the newspaper's position "perfectly clear." The paper, which endorsed Ernst in the five-way Republican primary, has run several editorial pieces criticizing Ernst's policy positions.
Ernst has met with editors at Nebraska's Omaha World-Herald, whose readership extends into western Iowa, and at the Sioux City Journal. The Cedar Rapids Gazette endorsed Braley on Sunday and wrote that Ernst did not find time to meet with their editorial board. Editors in the Quad Cities and Dubuque said they have thus far unsuccessfully sought meetings.
Hamel said the campaign may still find time for the other papers.
Braley's spokesman says the congressman has accepted all editorial board invitations.