Democrat Congressman Bruce Braley’s campaign for the U.S. Senate sent out a news release critical of Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst for bringing in Sarah Palin for a Sunday campaign event. The Braley release said Iowa doesn’t need “an outside political pundit” like Palin telling Iowans what to think and criticized her PAC’s donation to Ernst’s campaign.
Braley made headlines for traveling to Texas earlier this year to raise funds from attorneys while also slamming Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in the process. He was asked during a conference call with reporters how raising funds from lawyers outside the state was different from bringing someone in to campaign. Braley didn’t say how the influence of out-of-state lawyers was different, he instead talked about a Democrat friend who visited Iowa on his behalf.
“Well I think you have to look at what the whole purpose is of bringing somebody in to campaign with you. I’m very proud that I brought Gabby Giffords in last year to Iowa,” Braley says.
Giffords is the former Arizona Congresswoman who was shot and injured at one of her own campaign events. “We had almost 12-hundred people show up at the state fairgrounds to hear her positive message about bringing people together to solve tough problems. I think most people in Iowa (who) I talk about what they are looking for in their leaders, is somebody who has those types of characteristics, somebody who has proven record of bringing people together, not driving people apart. And I think that’s what people are looking for in Iowa,” Braley says.
Braley issued an appology shortly after the video surfaced of him telling a group of Texas lawyers at the fundraiser that if he wasn’t elected to the U.S. Senate — Grassley, a farmer who never went to law school — would become chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.