Skip to comments.Grassley knocks Obama, Braley at annual Kaufmann fundraiser
Posted on 07/01/2014 3:22:44 PM PDT by iowamark
SOLON, IowaState Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, officially announced his intent to seek reelection Monday night at a fundraiser featuring Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Adam Gregg, the GOP nominee for Attorney General, and Kaufmanns fatherthe newly elected chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.
Let me apologize to you: Im a farmer, not a lawyer, Grassley told the crowd of more than 100 people, who roared with laughter at the obvious reference to Democratic Senate nominee Bruce Braleys comments disparaging Grassley as a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school at a Texas trial lawyer fundraiser. Grassley, who regularly keynotes Kaufmanns annual fundraiser, said that Americans would benefit from selecting a non-lawyer as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Grassley said hasnt happened since the committees formation in 1815.
Grassley enthusiastically endorsed state Sen. Joni Ernst, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, noting that shes a strong candidate with county, legislative and military experience. Grassley has a much more optimistic outlook about Republicans chances of taking control of the upper chamber compared to the 2012 cycle. He blamed undisciplined candidates for the disastrous consequences of that election.
We had some people in some states that didnt do a good job of representing Republicans, Grassley said, noting that the problem rippled through other states and damaged the GOP brand. In contrast, Grassley praised the leadership of Gov. Terry Branstad, particularly his stewardship of the states finances, as a model for other Republican governors.
Grassley focused his harshest rhetorical fire on President Obama, who Grassley described as an authoritative person and the leader of an authoritarian regime.
We have a president who says, I have a pen, I have a phone, and if Congress doesnt act, I will, Grassley said. What a thing for a person who swears to uphold the Constitution [to] say.
Grassley indirectly compared Obama to British monarch King George III by saying that the United States fought a revolutionary war to create a government of three equal branches, where no one man may wield unchecked power. He also mentioned that Obamas executive authority and policies have been rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court several times recently (including cases involving protest buffer zones at abortion clinics, Obama flouting the Senate by abusing recess appointments and the ability of closely-held business to determine whether to pay for contraception in employees health insurance).
Grassley also criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for blocking amendments and using other procedural tactics to thwart the Senates tradition as a deliberative body. He noted that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has allowed Democrats 29 opportunities to amend legislation while Reid prevents even freshmen Democratic Senators from suggesting changes to legislation on the Senate floor.
Weve got to put a stop to the one-man rule of the U.S. Senate, Grassley said...
Adam Gregg, who faces Attorney General Tom Miller, criticized the incumbent for raising Iowas health care costs and restricting choices through Obamacare, shaking down targets of investigations for six figure campaign contributions and rarely leaving his Des Moines office to connect with constituents. Miller, first elected to office in 1978, is the longest serving attorney general in the United States.
I cant wait to cross-examine Tom Miller, Gregg said. Hed better be ready for some tough questions.
Greggs has finely tuned his stump speech, hired top advisers and is raising significant resources for his campaign. Political observers say the former top adviser to Gov. Branstad, who seems relaxed and confident meeting potential voters, will provide Miller with a credible challenge this cycle. He was well received by Johnson County Republicans and hung around to chat individually with many attendees.
The Kaufmann fundraiser, a jovial family affair, featured gentle roasting from speakers, especially among state Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, and the Kaufmann clan, which also includes John Kaufmann, the chair of the Iowa Federation of College Republicans.
Grassley said its a myth that he and his grandfather have hatched any sort of succession contingency, noting that the two quickly veer into other topics when discussing politics. Grassley said he called his grandfather the day the House Ways and Means Committee alleged that disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner targeted Grassley for additional IRS scrutiny due to political reasons.
I called him and asked him about that, but in 30 seconds we were talking about ice cream, said the younger Grassley, who vowed to campaign hard for state house Republicans this cycle.
Grassley explained why he has made so many campaign trips to swing and Democratic-leaning districts such as Kaufmanns: I spent my first four years in the minority, and theyll never take me alive. Im not going back, so anything we have to do to keep the majority, were willing to do.
Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law