North Dakota’s Democratic U.S. House Candidate Says He Can’t Endorse Hillary Clinton


TOM STROMME/Tribune Chase Iron Eyes speaks at his booth at the 2016 North Dakota Democratic-NPL state convention where he is seeking the party's nomination for Congress. The convention continues Saturday in Bismarck.

Earlier this year North Dakota’s Democrats made a lot of hay over Republican Senator John Hoeven’s tepid support-but-not-endorse stance on presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“I can tell you that he is not endorsing in the presidential race and that he will support the nominee of the party,” Hoeven told Politico in May, a response the Washington Post mocked as “a distinction without a difference.”

Hoeven’s Democratic opponent Eliot Glassheim mocked it too. ““When Sen. Hoeven says he’ll support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, North Dakotans deserve to know which part of Trump’s reckless agenda Hoeven will support in Washington, DC,” Glassheim told the Grand Forks Herald.

But now a state Democrat seems guilty of the same sort of political parsing. During my radio show yesterday I hosted a debate among North Dakota’s candidates for the U.S. House including Republican incumbent Kevin Cramer, Libertarian Jack Seaman, and Democrat Chase Iron Eyes. While I already posted the audio of that debate yesterday, I thought something Mr. Iron Eyes said was worthy of its own post.

Not surprisingly Cramer’s loquacious and enthusiastic support for Trump was the subject of much pie-throwing among the candidates, but when the discussion turned to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton Iron Eyes…hedged.

“I’m voting for Hillary; I’m not endorsing her,” he said, which got a laugh from Cramer and Seaman both of whom accused Iron Eyes of a political answer to the question (Iron Eyes had cast himself as a political outsider earlier in the discussion).

“I can’t fully get behind any of the other candidates,” Iron Eyes went on to explain. “That’s the choice I’m going for.”

If Hoeven is guilty of a cop out on Trump – and he is – then Iron Eyes is guilty of the same with Clinton.

Here’s the audio of the debate: