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Braley’s ‘farmer from Iowa’ remarks could spell election trouble for party
The Hill ^ | March 26, 2014 | Cameron Joseph

Posted on 03/27/2014 1:01:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Iowa Democrats are worried Rep. Bruce Braley’s remark that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) is a “farmer from Iowa who never went to law school” could come back to haunt him.

Braley’s 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 he’s better equipped to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee than his state’s senior senator.

“If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who’s 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.

“It’s 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.”

Braley’s remark plays directly into the narrative Republicans have long pushed about him: that he’s a wealthy trial lawyer who’s 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 there’s a backlash. If you take the statement out of context I could see how a farmer could feel offended by that, and there’s 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 Braley’s 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 he’s “proud of Iowa and all the families who make their living off the land.”

Braley’s 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 state’s 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 people’s candidate.

“This race will be about the clear choice between Bruce Braley, who supports policies that help Iowa farmers, expands Iowa’s 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.

Ernst’s 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, I’ll 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 Iowa’s GOP primary.

This isn’t Braley’s 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.

Braley’s campaign admits his comments about Grassley’s farming background won’t help but argues the fundamentals of the race haven’t 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.”

Braley’s allies admit the comment wasn’t helpful but they say he’ll be able to push past the incident by focusing on his deep roots in Iowa’s farming communities.

“They’re going to have to battle back,” said Judge, who’s also a farmer and a former Iowa secretary of agriculture. “It will be an issue, and I don’t think Bruce would tell you any differently. It’s going to have to be something he fights back on. But they have the time to do so, and I think they will.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: 2014; braley; brucebraley; chuckgrassley; farmers; iowa; tortreform

1 posted on 03/27/2014 1:01:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

We need fewer lawyers in politics.


2 posted on 03/27/2014 1:49:33 AM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a pessimist, I say plenty of negative things. Consider it a warning of sorts.)
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To: wastedyears

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.


3 posted on 03/27/2014 1:56:47 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
“If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years, in a visible or public way, on the Senate Judiciary Committee,”

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.

4 posted on 03/27/2014 2:33:45 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: wastedyears
We need fewer lawyers liberals in politics.

Fixed it for you. :-P

5 posted on 03/27/2014 2:43:37 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
“Politically there’s a backlash. If you take the statement out of context I could see how a farmer could feel offended by that, and there’s 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.

It's even worse in context.

6 posted on 03/27/2014 2:48:18 AM PDT by Hugin
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To: Hugin

See, they have a word for people like Braley in Iowa. It’s called “asshole.”


7 posted on 03/27/2014 3:01:47 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Notice this degenerate SOB didn't say fighting for tort reform, but fighting against it.

Bastard lawyers just can't steal enough, and they're proud of it too.

8 posted on 03/27/2014 3:12:24 AM PDT by Rome2000
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Show me a lawyer who is growing food for America.


9 posted on 03/27/2014 3:13:06 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: ridesthemiles

That would tend to happen after they’ve been buried.


10 posted on 03/27/2014 3:19:33 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: ridesthemiles

Actually, my lawyer stepfather was a farmer.


11 posted on 03/27/2014 3:40:40 AM PDT by LS ('Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually.' Hendrix)
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To: wastedyears

Mark Twain once said, “ A lawyer is nothing more than a paid liar”.


12 posted on 03/27/2014 5:13:34 AM PDT by BTCM (Death and destruction is the only treaty Muslims comprehend.)
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To: Pontiac
Tort lawyers have been systematically looting the country...

Soem of us feel the same about farmers who have been sucking on the corporate welfare teat for generations.

13 posted on 03/27/2014 5:16:49 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“Iowa Democrats are worried Rep. Bruce Braley’s 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:

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/10/09/dem-congressman-bruce-braley-whines-about-towel-service-house-gym


14 posted on 03/27/2014 5:18:19 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
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To: Labyrinthos

“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.


15 posted on 03/27/2014 5:19:54 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
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To: Labyrinthos

I guess that’s why the number of farmers has been in freefall while the number of lawyers is burgeoning.


16 posted on 03/27/2014 5:23:12 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

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.


17 posted on 03/27/2014 5:31:17 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (for)
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To: HereInTheHeartland
Well good point; but at least the farmers produce a very important product at the end of the day.

What about the farmers who are paid not to grow crops?

18 posted on 03/27/2014 5:32:45 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: ridesthemiles

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.


19 posted on 03/27/2014 5:39:24 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Not just his comments. The video of his comments shows him standing next to a table with dozens of bottles of booze.


20 posted on 03/27/2014 6:23:50 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: HereInTheHeartland
...but at least the farmers produce a very important product at the end of the day...

Theoretically, lawyers also produce a product at the end of the day, one that might theoretically be used by farmers. But, alas, it is generally poor quality 0-0-0 fertilizer.

21 posted on 03/27/2014 9:34:58 AM PDT by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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