Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley repeatedly ripped into his Republican rival Joni Ernst’s connections to the billionaire Koch brothers during a heated debate in the tight Iowa Senate race on Sunday night.
But Ernst, a state senator, hit back by saying that Braley cannot get along with his own neighbor and would never be able to work with GOP lawmakers to get legislation passed, according to The Des Moines Register.
Braley started off the debate by launching into a tirade against Ernst for her association with conservative industrialists Charles and David Koch, who are spending tens of millions of dollars backing GOP campaigns in the midterm elections to help Republicans retake the Senate.
While calling himself "a bridge builder, not a bridge burner," Braley also took Ernst to task for supporting a tea party agenda aimed at obstructing President Barack Obama’s attempts to move legislation through Congress.
"Senator Ernst would have voted to shut down the federal government with (Sen.) Ted Cruz,” he said. “She's called President Obama a dictator and thinks impeachment should be on the table."
But Ernst quickly fired back, saying, "Congressman, you threatened to sue a neighbor over chickens that came onto your property. You're talking about bipartisanship. How do we expect as Iowans to believe that you will work across the aisle when you can't walk across your yard?"
Ernst was a referring to an argument over some chickens that were allegedly running wild on a vacation home Braley owns on Holiday Lake in Iowa’s Poweshiek County.
After Braley's wife Carolyn had approached their neighbor about the chickens, the congressman contacted the property association's lawyer, who later revealed that the Democrat had inferred he hoped to “'avoid a litigious situation." Braley denied he was, in fact, threatening legal action.
Last week, a Des Moines Register poll showed that Ernst had pulled ahead in the key Senate race, which had been considered virtually deadlocked for months.
Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent
in the race that is seen as pivotal to the GOP's effort to capture the Senate on Nov. 4. Twelve percent of the 546 likely voters surveyed from Sept. 21-24 said they were undecided.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.