Democrat's 'Farmer' Shot Can Help Grassley in Iowa

Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 05:09 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley took a shot at veteran Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, mocking his fellow Iowan as a "farmer from Iowa who never went to law school" and who shouldn’t become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — a position he’ll assume if the GOP wins control of the upper chamber.

The videotaped remark may end up helping Grassley.

Braley's statement came in a speech to lawyers at a fundraiser in south Texas, America Rising PAC told The Hill. The conservative political action committee also posted the remarks on YouTube.

Braley is running for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat, trying to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, and argues that voters need to keep the state’s open seat in Democratic hands to keep Grassley from assuming control of the Judiciary panel.

Grassley, who’s been in the Senate since 1981, was a farmer before getting involved in politics, and his son Robin now runs the farm, The Hill noted.

The video may have been recorded without Braley's knowledge, the National Journal reported, recalling Mitt Romney's disastrous "47 percent" remark, caught on video during his 2012 presidential campaign.

Braley later said he had apologized to Grassley in person for the comment. "I apologize to Sen. Grassley and anyone I may have offended," he said in a press statement issued by his campaign.

Braley was unchallenged in his primary, and with a crowded GOP field of candidates, Republican leaders saw little chance for a pickup in the state.

"That may change now, thanks to this video," the National Journal’s Matt Vasilogambros wrote.

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