Another Bruising Week For Bruce Braley

Happy Saturday –

It was another bruising week for Washington liberal Bruce Braley. Congressman Braley tried to walk back a statement he made concerning his support for raising the Social Security Retirement age. Then news came out that he had voted to gut $716 billion from Medicare programs for seniors. Finally, a new poll showed that one of Congressman Braley’s strongest supporters, Barack Obama, has an approval rating that is now at it’s lowest level ever in the Hawkeye State.

The News That Drove The Week …

Gallup reports that Barack Obama’s approval rating is at it’s lowest level ever in Iowa. As a key U.S. Senate race unfolds in Iowa, President Barack Obama’s declining job approval rating may be one factor making it such a close battle. Obama’s approval rating among Iowans for the first half of the year stood at 38%, five percentage points below the national average and the lowest rating Gallup has measured in Iowa during his presidency.

Gallup also notes that Iowa is now less Democratic than the rest of the country. Put simply, Iowa was more Democratic than the rest of the nation in 2008; it is now less Democratic than the rest of the nation.

The Washington Post reports that Barack Obama’s poll numbers is bad news for Washington liberal Bruce Braley. So, what does this all mean in 2014? It’s bad news for Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Iowa. Braley is in a close race against Republican Joni Ernst.

The Associated Press reports that Braley continues to come under fire for skipping 75 percent of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings. Braley has come under fire for missing hearings held by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs in 2011 and 2012.

With Democrats disappointed in Braley’s floundering campaign, the Washington Post reports that Republicans remain excited about Joni Ernst. Democrats initially were very confident that they could hold the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, but the race has become one of the most competitive in the country because of stumbles by Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and the enthusiasm among Republican circles for their candidate, state Sen. Joni Ernst.

Despite saying that he wouldn’t raise the Social Security Retirement Age, the Des Moines Register reports that Braley was singing a different tune just a few years ago. Braley’s campaign denies the congressman supports raising the retirement age, although there’s at least one newspaper article showing he considered it a possibility in the past.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Iowa blasted Braley for his hypocrisy on protecting the guaranteed benefit of Social Security. Despite his misleading attack yesterday, just two years ago Washington liberal Bruce Braley opened the door to ending guaranteed Social Security benefits. During his re-election campaign, Braley said he would look at means testing – which would let the government determine which seniors are eligible for Social Security.

Despite watching Braley’s six-point lead vanish over the summer, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that California billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen believes their strategy is working. Although Ernst has closed a 6-percentage-point gap since May and is now tied with Braley, Lehane insisted the strategy is working.

The Sioux City Journal reports that Republicans ripped Braley for his allegiance to Tom Steyer and his anti-ethanol agenda. NextGen Climate is “giddy” to have Braley in its pocket, Republican Party of Iowa spokesman Jahan Wilcox said. “Iowans should beware that NextGen is bankrolled by billionaire Tom Steyer, who stands against Iowa’s ethanol industry,” he added, referring to anti-ethanol statements by Steyer, a former hedge fund manager who accumulated part of his fortune by investing in fossil fuel projects. “I saw in the paper the other day that Al Gore was saying that maybe he shouldn’t have been for ethanol,” Steyer told Fortune magazine four years ago. “It’s kind of like duh! Did you ever take out your calculator on that one?”

The Washington Free Beacon reports that during the healthcare debate, Nancy Pelosi tapped Braley to give the closing argument for ObamaCare. Republicans are reminding Iowa voters that Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) was one of the principal backers of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. … Braley delivered one of the last floor speeches in support of the law before it passed.

The National Review Online reports that Braley was adamant that he read ObamaCare, which raided $716 billion from Medicare. Iowa Senate candidate Bruce Braley hasn’t talked up Obamacare much on the campaign trail this year, but in his 2012 congressional campaign, he wanted Iowans to know he stood by every word of the law: “You’re damn right I read the bill,” the congressman told his opponent in a debate. “I had every page highlighted, I had my handwritten notes in the margin and I had tabs there,” he said.

Meanwhile in his backyard, the Republican Party of Iowa noted that every Iowa senior enrolled in Medicare will see a $10,000 cut, due to Braley’s vote for Obamacare. As the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier reports: The Republican Party of Iowa also challenged Braley on Tuesday for his support of the Affordable Care Act, which included $716 billion in Medicare cuts. … “Bruce Braley’s Obamacare cuts over $10,000 from every Iowa senior enrolled in Medicare,” RPI Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said, using a 10-year figure. “After ransacking $716 billion from Medicare for Obamacare, why would seniors ever trust Bruce Braley?”