Videotape has surfaced from the Fourth of July parade in Iowa Falls where Congressman Bruce Braley appears to say, twice, that he’s a farmer. Earlier this year, Braley, a Democrat from Cedar Falls and the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate, was criticized for comments he made at a Texas fundraiser which belittled farmer and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.
This morning, Grassley was asked for a reaction to Braley’s weekend proclamation. “I suppose that the press will probably flush it out,” Grassley says, “and it needs to be flushed out.” In the video, a woman on the parade sidelines says, “We’re farmers,” as Braley passes. He replies, “So am I.” The woman then says, “But so is Grassley,” to which Braley repeats, “So am I.”
Grassley farms with one of his sons on several hundred acres in northeast Iowa, near New Hartford. “When you’re a candidate, you have to be very transparent, very accurate, because everything will come back to bite you,” Grassley says. “I thought his profession was being a lawyer.”
Braley’s campaign spokesman Jeff Giertz issued this statement: “Bruce was walking in a noisy parade celebrating July 4th and was responding to a comment he heard as ‘we’re for farmers’ by agreeing, ‘so am I,’ and Bruce’s actions back up his words. Joni Ernst, on the other hand, opposed the Farm Bill and is ‘philosophically opposed’ to the job-creating Renewable Fuel Standard while Bruce fought for three years to pass a new Farm Bill and has fought to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard.”
Braley issued an apology in March for remarks made at the private event in Texas. He was videotaped, telling a group of trial lawyers that if Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate this November that Grassley is likely to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Braley described Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.”