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BRALEY APOLOGIZES: Sen Grassley ‘Farmer From Iowa’

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Republicans are circulating a video which they contend shows Iowa First District Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley demeaning longtime Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

The group, Priorities for Iowa, said the video came from a fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Braley spoke to a group of trial lawyers. The group could not immediately provide the date of the recording. Braley, an attorney, was making the case to the people in the room that they should elect him and help Democrats keep the majority in the U.S. Senate, rather than let Republicans take the seat.

In the clip posted to YouTube, Braley said, "To put this in stark contrast, if you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice. Someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years, in a visible and public way, on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Or you might have a farmer from Iowa, who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Braley is running to replace U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, who is retiring this year.


Senator Grassley's office issued this statement:

“By the logic expressed on this recording a trial lawyer shouldn't be involved in policy making about agriculture, or energy, or health care.

“Sen. Grassley has served on the Judiciary Committee since he was first elected to the Senate, and he’s got a strong record on the committee.  Grassley-authored amendments to the False Claims Act have recovered nearly $40 billion for taxpayers that would otherwise be lost to fraud.  He’s the co-author of laws to curb class-action lawsuit abuse and to reform the bankruptcy code.  Sen. Grassley is unmatched in his legislative and oversight work to protect whistleblowers, both in and out of government, who speak up about wrong-doing for the public good.  He coauthored the Whistleblower Protection Act and numerous updates to laws protecting whistleblowers, including national security and on Wall Street.  Sen. Grassley’s work on the Judiciary Committee exposed the illegal gun-trafficking operation known as Operation Fast and Furious.  It was Sen. Grassley’s persistence that pressured the current administration to provide Congress with the legal rationale for using drones on American citizens.

“Alongside that, Sen. Grassley’s one of only two working family farmers in the United States Senate, where he brings Iowa common sense to work for ag, anti-trust, transportation, environmental, energy, trade, health care, communications, national security, and tax policy that works for all of America.”


Braley's campaign issued this response:

“I apologize to Senator Grassley and anyone I may have offended. I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship even though we disagree on some issues.

“But there is a clear choice in this race between Mark Jacobs and my other opponents who support policies that are bad for Iowa farmers, and the work I’ve done hand in hand with Iowa farmers to grow Iowa’s farm economy and create good paying Iowa farm jobs.

“My parents both grew up on Iowa farms during the Great Depression.  It deeply influenced who they are and who I am, and gave me a profound appreciation for what farmers do for the world. One of my grandfathers was a charter member of the Iowa Farm Bureau. I grew up in rural Iowa, doing farm jobs and working a grain elevator. I have tremendous respect for Iowa farmers and appreciate how important they are to our state, and I’m grateful to have the support of hundreds of farmers across Iowa,” said Rep. Bruce Braley."



  • Bob

    “Or you might have a farmer from Iowa, who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.””

    I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have as the chair of the Judiciary committee

    Senator Grassley does have one thing on his resume, that you forgot to mention ‘Representing the interests of Iowans’

    You might try it sometime

      • Luke

        Before criticising corporate farmers, understand what a fluctuating food supply would do to the economy and specifically the state of Iowa. Typical urban comment from a person that thinks food just magically appears on shelves.

  • Bob

    “the video came from a fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas,”

    and what’s he doing at a fundraiser in Texas?

  • RoccoB

    If the republican challenger for the senate seat does not seize upon this gift then he/she deserves to lose it.
    This a great stuff.
    Hilarious too.

  • Bob

    ‘I apologize to Senator Grassley and anyone I may have offended. I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship even though we disagree on some issues…………But ‘

    an ‘apology’ that contains the word ‘But’, is a justification disguised as an ‘apology’

    huge pet peave of mine – if your going to justify what you did, then justify it. If you;re going to apologise, then just apologise

    but don’t try to disguise the former as the latter. a dishonest ‘lawyerly’ gesture

  • ARC

    I don’t care what anyone says, Sen. Grassley is NOT a farmer. He is a career politician. Owning a farm does not make a person a farmer. Showing kooky 30 second commercials with three lawnmowers strapped together does not reinforce your folksy Iowan roots.

    Senator Grassley had my vote until he brought up death panels. He lost my vote for all time once he claimed the President was packing the court. If a senator cannot tell the difference between court packing and filling vacancies, then he does not deserve to even be on the Judiciary Committee.

    This feigned outrage and victimhood that politicians play is counterproductive and disgraceful. Rep. Braley should not put down any politician for being a farmer, but neither should the Senator put down another politician for being an attorney.

    • Bob

      ‘ but neither should the Senator put down another politician for being an attorney’

      and where exactly, did he do that?

      • Tony

        The Senator and his staff did put down Braley for being an attorney. I think the Republican constant use of the term “Trial Lawyer” is demeaning to the legal profession. Trial lawyers play a important roles whether you want to admit it or not. Yes, some are dirty and resort to shady dealings when making their money, but to constantly put down the entire profession is unfair to those who are honest.

        The senator’s response immediately calls Braley a trial lawyer. It is quite clear that use of the term was a way in which the Senator could put him down – politicians choose carefully the words they use in their responses. He could have just touted his tenure in the Senate without the beginning phrase. Only party hacks cannot see an insult as thinly veiled as that.

        The bottom line is that neither should put down the other for their chosen professions.

  • Bob

    I have yet to ever hear anyone say

    ‘The problem with Washington, is that there aren’t enough lawyers there – instead there are too many in congress that are like the people they represent’

    (except for Braley himself, I guess he just said it)

    • Mina

      I have yet to meet a food stamps recipient taking welfare to the likes of almost $1 MILLION DOLLARS.

      “Iowa ranks second in the nation for the $24.9 billion in subsidies its farmers received from 1995 to 2012. The state last year brought in $739 million in federal dollars, according to the group.

      Grassley and his sons Pat and Robin Grassley collected $28,784 in 2012. That brings the family’s total farm subsidies in the past 16 years to more than $975,000.”

      Didn’t they just cut the food stamp program in the latest farm bill?

  • William Denison

    Demeaning longtime Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley? Someone needs to break it to Mr.Grassley he is not a god. Just a elderly man that needs to retire….Just sayin.

  • Ian Heiding

    P.S. Look at that booze on the table where he’s standin. Hey look everybody I was just there mindin my own business and these Texas judges started servin it up. Shoot before I knew it I was runnin off at the mouth. I didn’t know what I was sayin. Hand this guy that bottle of Jack and send him off to D.C. Heck if you like what yer drinkin…you can keep what yer drinkin. Everythings gonna be alright.

  • Jon Smith

    Any Republican who wants to criticize Rep. Braley for his comments needs to remember that Steve King represents the state of Iowa as well.

    • Mary

      I love it! And his followers bow down to him with every offensive statement he makes, He’s an embarassment to Iowa

  • Mary

    Yeah what about Steve King? He’s always shooting off his mouth with ignorant and offensive statements.

    • Luke

      Right. Talking about closing the borders to stop illegals (real term for undocumented)….. Yeah, that’s just offensive.

  • Mike Cee

    I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that Braley is nothing more than a political hack who does or says anything that he thinks will get him elected or helps him raise funds. He’s been that way his entire career, and Iowa deserves much better.

    I sincerely hope that Iowans see through his elitist attitude and elect someone who actually represents Iowa values, not just another Harkin wannabe.

  • Ms. JJM

    Sorry but I agree with Bruce Braley and I just cringe every time I hear Grassley open his mouth. He truly sounds like he just fell off the turnip truck and his command of the English language appears that he did not pay much attention in high school or did not finish. I do not have a law degree and I am not a life long Iowa ressident. I have travelled extensively and have lived in many states and I am not making this comment because I don’t like Grassley but he just sounds uneducated.

  • Borderhawk

    Steve King offends New York liberals and illegal aliens in Texas collecting welfare. He offends people from outside of Iowa. He also offends failures like Jeb Bush.

  • cirrusclouds

    So Congressman Braley goes to Texas to make his pitch to trial lawyers that he is one of them and has been fighting tort reform for 30 years while using “farmer” as a pejorative to diss one of Iowa’s most popular Senators ever all the while standing next to a table of bottles of Jack Daniels booze. His best defense would be to say he was just stupid drunk at the time. Got to be one of the dumbest mistakes by a politician ever. ~

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