Skip to comments.Braley’s ‘farmer from Iowa’ remarks could spell election trouble for party
Posted on 03/27/2014 1:01:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Iowa Democrats are worried Rep. Bruce Braleys remark that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) is a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school could come back to haunt him.
Braleys Senate campaign is in damage control mode following the release of a video in which the Democrat tells Texas trial lawyers at a fundraiser that hes better equipped to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee than his states senior senator.
If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone whos been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years, in a visible or public way, on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Braley said in the clip, which Republicans have been gleefully circulating. Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Because, if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Braley immediately issued a public apology to Grassley, but the comments could still be a problem this fall.
Its unfortunate. Certainly as someone who was in elected office for almost 20 years, I understand the foot-in-mouth problem, former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (D) told The Hill. It is a problem for him. Sen. Grassley is very highly regarded, not just among Republicans, but by Iowans.
Braleys remark plays directly into the narrative Republicans have long pushed about him: that hes a wealthy trial lawyer whos out of touch with the average Iowan and farmers. The footage will be fodder for campaign ads this fall, when the GOP hopes to make a race where Braley has had the edge into a tougher battle.
Politically theres a backlash. If you take the statement out of context I could see how a farmer could feel offended by that, and theres a lot of people who are going to do just that, take it out of context, former Iowa Steelworkers Union Political Director John Campbell told The Hill.
Republicans are overjoyed about Braleys slip of the tongue.
For months, reporters and pundits have been searching for the next Todd Akin-like candidate. Turns out that they were looking in the wrong party, National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring said in a Wednesday morning email to reporters.
Mark Jacobs, one of the four Republicans vying to face Braley this fall, already has a radio ad that includes part of the clip. The energy executive called the comments an insult to both Grassley and Iowa farmers and said hes proud of Iowa and all the families who make their living off the land.
Braleys campaign has tried to remedy the gaffe. He gave an in-person apology to Grassley and issued a public apology as well, saying his childhood on the family farm has given him a profound appreciation for what farmers do for the world.
The campaign also released a memo that includes quotes from a half-dozen farmers backing Braley, touting his work on the farm bill and to protect the renewable energy standard, a priority for the states agricultural economy.
Braley has been leading his GOP opponents in most polls, and Democrats have been confident the crowded Republican field would give him an edge in the race.
Democrats also argue that if Jacobs wins the primary election, his background as a Wall Street executive and energy utility CEO in Texas gives them plenty of opportunities to show Braley is more of the peoples candidate.
This race will be about the clear choice between Bruce Braley, who supports policies that help Iowa farmers, expands Iowas agricultural economy, and strengthens the middle class, and Goldman Sachs executive Mark Jacobs and the GOP field, who support policies that are bad for Iowa farmers and good for big oil billionaires, Braley spokesman Jeff Giertz said.
Jacobs, a self-funder, has been outspending his opponents and has held a lead in the few public polls of the GOP primary. But Republicans seem to be rallying around Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R); former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) endorsed her on Wednesday, joining former presidential candidate Mitt Romney in backing her.
Ernsts background as a farmer and Marine make it tough for Braley to attack her on personal issues if she can overcome her fundraising struggles to win the primary.
I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, Ill know how to cut pork, she said in her first ad, released on Tuesday.
The eye-catching ad drew national attention and some ridicule from late-night hosts but could play well in Iowas GOP primary.
This isnt Braleys first gaffe of the campaign. Last fall, during the government shutdown, he complained on a radio show about its impact on the House gym, leading to GOP guffaws.
Braleys campaign admits his comments about Grassleys farming background wont help but argues the fundamentals of the race havent changed.
It is certainly an issue that need to be addressed. Congressman Braley addressed it yesterday, senior Braley adviser Jeff Link said. I think he handled it in a smart way and handled it quickly.
Braleys allies admit the comment wasnt helpful but they say hell be able to push past the incident by focusing on his deep roots in Iowas farming communities.
Theyre going to have to battle back, said Judge, whos also a farmer and a former Iowa secretary of agriculture. It will be an issue, and I dont think Bruce would tell you any differently. Its going to have to be something he fights back on. But they have the time to do so, and I think they will.
We need fewer lawyers in politics.
I upset several long time liberal friends when I pointed out how hypocritical their Clintongasms were when they were the same people who bashed Nixon and his ilk for being lawyers. They were hoping everyone forgot their stance on the issue.
Why would I want a trial lawyer that has been fighting Tort Reform elected to the Senate?
Tort lawyers have been systematically looting the country by way of frivolous law suits. This country desperately needs Tort Reform. We need looser pays.
Fixed it for you. :-P
It's even worse in context.
See, they have a word for people like Braley in Iowa. It’s called “asshole.”
Bastard lawyers just can't steal enough, and they're proud of it too.
Show me a lawyer who is growing food for America.
That would tend to happen after they’ve been buried.
Actually, my lawyer stepfather was a farmer.
Mark Twain once said, “ A lawyer is nothing more than a paid liar”.
Soem of us feel the same about farmers who have been sucking on the corporate welfare teat for generations.
“Iowa Democrats are worried Rep. Bruce Braleys remark that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) is a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school could come back to haunt him.”
Only if we are smart enough to use this gift. Bruce “Towel” Braley said another stupid thing:
“farmers who have been sucking on the corporate welfare teat for generations. “
Well good point; but at least the farmers produce a very important product at the end of the day.
I guess that’s why the number of farmers has been in freefall while the number of lawyers is burgeoning.
To the vast majority of the country, not just Iowa, we would much rather have a farmer from Iowa overlooking the justice system in the US than a pampered lawyer.
What about the farmers who are paid not to grow crops?
The Founding Fathers were farmers. They knew farmers, farms and farming (there was so much land) would help grow a great and powerful nation. The Founding Fathers brought seeds from other places, exchanged them, bought them, experimented with them - all with an eye to prosper and grow. The country was built on farming and the trade that came with it.
Not just his comments. The video of his comments shows him standing next to a table with dozens of bottles of booze.