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Ernst shakes off bump out of prime time

CLEVELAND — If Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is at all disappointed that her opening-night speech at the Republican National Convention got bumped from prime time, she’s shrugging it off.

The rising GOP star’s remarks were notably delayed because other speakers scheduled before her — including retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who had been rumored to be a potential Donald Trump running mate — ran too long.

So Ernst ended up delivering her anticipated speech at about 11:15 p.m. Monday to a nearly empty Quicken Loans Arena.

“I was happy the Iowa delegation stayed the entire time, and they stood the whole time and they were all there, they were supporting me. So I was thrilled,” she said shortly before an Iowa delegation lunch here Tuesday. “I got a number of folks that messaged me and said, ‘CNN covered the whole thing.’ So they watched it, and I got lots of great feedback.”

Ernst’s excited daughter used Snapchat to “snap” her mother’s speech and send it out to her friends, Ernst said.

“There was a good message last night, and we really wanted to focus on making America safe again, and that’s what we were trying to hammer home,” Ernst said. “We cannot tolerate another four to eight years of failed policies like we’ve seen in the Barack Obama administration.”

While Ernst wasn’t showing any disappointment over the timing snafu, her fellow Iowa Republicans showed plenty of frustration on her behalf.

“Obviously, I was upset that Joni didn’t get to be in prime time. She gave a great speech,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said. “We are so proud of her, and she is doing a great job. I thought the person who was before her went on way too long and repeated himself.”