Cruz Slams Braley for 'Iowa Farmer' Slight Against Grassley

Image: Cruz Slams Braley for 'Iowa Farmer' Slight Against Grassley

Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 09:54 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Sen. Ted Cruz pounced on Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley Thursday for questioning whether a farmer without a law degree — a mocking reference to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley — could lead the Senate's Judiciary Committee.

In an op-ed piece for The Iowa Republican, Cruz, a Texas Republican and member of the Judiciary Committee, declared not only was Grassley "exactly the kind of government watchdog the American people need," but that "Washington would be a lot better off if we had more farmers in Congress and a lot fewer trial lawyers."

"The biggest political divide in America is not between Republicans and Democrats," Cruz wrote. "It’s between Washington and the rest of America."

"We need more people like Sen. Grassley who rely on good, old-fashioned common sense than those who depend on an army of accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists to get their way in Washington," he added. "That’s why I’d venture that if any Republican had to choose between a trial lawyer and a farmer, they’d pick the farmer. I would."

It was the first time Cruz waded into a controversy that erupted last week, when a video showed Braley, a lawyer, telling attorneys that if Democrats lose control of the Senate, Grassley, "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school," would be in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Braley – who's running replace retiring Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin – apologized for the cheap shot as a backlash intensified.

"Sen. Grassley is a champion for the American people, and his work holding the executive branch accountable, protecting Second Amendment rights, and fighting the unfair and unconstitutional exemption Congress gave itself from Obamacare is well regarded on Capitol Hill and beyond," Cruz wrote. He praised the veteran lawmaker for perfecting "a tenacious brand of oversight, implementing important anti-fraud tools, promoting transparency, and keeping an eagle eye out for anyone who may try to cheat the taxpayer."

"I’ve also worked with him directly on several pressing matters, and I’ve seen first hand how effective he is," Cruz wrote, ticking off proposals to reform the military’s protocol for prosecuting sexual assault, prohibit IRS employees from targeting any person or group based on political views, and spearheading a congressional probe into the Fast and Furious gun running scandal.

"He understands the secrecy, special exemptions, loopholes, and increasingly imperial nature of the federal government is tearing this country apart," Cruz wrote.

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