Bruce Braley’s Awful Week
Happy Saturday –
With just 17 days until the election, here’s the news that drove the week in Iowa …
On Sunday, the Des Moines Register reported that former Governor Mitt Romney stumped for Joni Ernst. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney stumped for 2014 U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa on Sunday night … Romney called the state senator from Red Oak an “extraordinary breath of fresh air” and a “person of unprecedented character and ability” and warmly identified her as a “farm girl” – a label Branstad and Reynolds also applied to her on Sunday night.
- Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that Romney praised Ernst for being a strong leader. Referring to Ernst, a combat veteran and Iowa National Guard lieutenant colonel, Romney said: “She has experience leading. We send a lot of people to Washington who know how to talk but not a lot of people who know how to lead.”
On Monday, the National Journal reported that Ernst ripped Congressman Braley for voting to defund our troops. Ernst accused him of voting “not once but twice” to defund troops in combat. “Now he will try and deny it now but what he was doing was putting politics ahead of our men and women in uniform and that is absolutely unacceptable,” she said.
- Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that the RPI hammered Braley for an upcoming campaign event with Elizabeth Warren who opposes aid to Iowa’s farmers. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will campaign in Iowa for Democrat Bruce Braley, who is locked in one of the nation’s closest Senate races, according to an email she sent supporters Monday. … Jahan Wilcox, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Iowa, said in an email that Warren voiced support for reducing agricultural subsidies during a 2012 Massachusetts Senate debate and as a senator-elect. He said her support for Braley raised questions about his views.
On Tuesday, the NRSC released a new ad hitting Braley’s weak record on fighting terrorists in the Middle East. As the Washington Free Beacon reports: The National Republican Senatorial Committee released a new ad on Monday targeting congressman Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) for his inconsistent record on authorizing use of force against the Islamic State. … The ad points out that Braley voted against funding combat operations in Iraq in June 2014, shortly before IS declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
- Meanwhile, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that the RPI hit Congressman Braley for saying that it would be irresponsible for him to protect Iowa farmers from the EPA. Braley is “going to fight to make sure we don’t divide people up,” Harkin said. “You can have an Environmental Protection Agency, you can have clean water and you can have clean air and you can have good agriculture at the same time.” Republican Party of Iowa spokesman Jahan Wilcox found Harkin’s comments ironic considering Braley’s reluctance to side with Iowa ag interests on EPA emissions standards. “It’s stunning that Braley said himself that it’s irresponsible for him to protect Iowa farmers from the EPA’s regulations against them,” Wilcox said. “Congressman Braley’s admission that he’d rather stand with the EPA over Iowa farmers is proof that we can’t trust him.”
On Wednesday, a new USA Today/Suffolk Poll revealed that Joni Ernst has a narrow four-point lead. Republican Joni Ernst enjoys a narrow lead and an atmosphere favoring a GOP victory in the Iowa Senate race against Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, according to the latest USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll. Ernst leads Braley 47%-43% among likely Iowa voters, taking a narrow lead in a race where 7.4% of voters remain undecided in one of the handful of contests that will determine which party controls the Senate next year.
- Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Congressman Braley’s missed VA hearings remains problematic for him. Two-thirds of likely Iowa voters said Braley’s absences at the VA hearings were a problem, according to a Des Moines Register poll conducted late last month. That issue received the most concern from voters among all the criticisms of either Braley or his Republican opponent, Joni Ernst. “[Braley’s record] really stands out if you’re a veteran, or a member of household with veterans,” said David Kochel, a longtime GOP operative in Iowa, in an interview.
On Thursday, while at the final debate Joni Ernst reminded Congressman Braley of his fierce support of ObamaCare. As the Des Moines Register reported: The final debate between Iowa’s two U.S. Senate combatants echoed the tenor of the race — close, hard-fought, and shot through with never-ending charges and countercharges and claims and counterclaims. “You stated just a few years back that you would not change a thing about Obamacare, and yet today you’re saying, ‘Oops, yeah, we do need to make some changes to the bill,’ ” Republican Joni Ernst scolded Democrat Bruce Braley on Thursday night. “You said you read every page of this bill. You tabbed it, you highlighted it. So either you didn’t understand what was in the bill or you were misleading Iowans, and I don’t know which one is worse.”
- The Wall Street Journal also noted that Ernst outraised Braley in the third quarter and has twice as much cash on hand. In Iowa, Republican Joni Ernst brought in more than twice the amount Democrat Bruce Braley raised. She also has twice as much in the bank.
- Meanwhile, Congressman Braley went to the press to ask Senator Harkin for more money for his flailing campaign. As Politico reported: “It is ridiculous that … Tom Harkin is sitting on over $2 million in his campaign account,” said one senior Democratic aide. Harkin’s refusal to give is all the more exasperating, the aide said, because Braley “has seen Tom as a mentor.” Harkin declined to be interviewed, but a spokeswoman for the senator, Susannah Cernojevich, strongly disputed that the Iowa senator was being stingy.
On Friday, despite his lies during the debate the fact checker at KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids confirmed that Congressman Braley voted to bar funding against ANY combat operation against ISIL in Iraq. Braley’s June vote was clearly against funding combat operations against ISIS fighters in Iraq. His own statement in the debate seemingly contradicts his assertion that it had nothing to do with ISIS but rather whether U.S. troops should be deployed. The situation in Iraq and opinions of many Americans have changed since then but that does not change Braley’s vote. … He also voted for an amendment that would have made it illegal to direct military spending to combat operations in Iraq. We rate this ad as true.