"Her rigid partisanship and support for the federal government shutdown not only won her the support of Sarah Palin, but proved that Joni Ernst is the Sarah Palin of Iowa who would bring more gridlock and dysfunction to Washington," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Deputy Executive Director Matt Canter said in a statement after Ernst easily won a five-way primary election Tuesday night with more than 54 percent of the vote.
Canter continued, parroting some of the more predictable talking points from the Democrats' "war on women" playbook: "Her hyper-partisan agenda is bought and paid for by outside special interests who support her efforts to privatize Social Security, end Medicare as we know it, deny reproductive choices even in cases of rape and incest, and eliminate the federal minimum wage.”
But Ernst, who cruised to victory with popular support from both the so-called Republican establishment, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Tea Party groups, seems ready to take on Democratic talking points on women's issues.
“I look forward to Bruce Braley lecture me about what's best for women,” Ernst said during her victory speech, referring to the Iowa congressman she will face off against in the Nov. 4 midterm elections.
Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard who served a tour of duty in Iraq, shot to national recognition after releasing an ad in which she boasted of her skill with castrating hogs.
“I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm so when I get to Washington,” she said in the video, “I'll know how to cut pork."
“I have a message for [Democrats]: I’ve been to war. I have seen the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make every day to defend our freedoms. If Democrats want to start throwing around a word like ‘war’, they’d better be doing it to honor those men and women,” Ernst said in her Tuesday speech.
“Democrats are desperate. They are out of ideas and they’re going to wake up tomorrow and they’re going to realize that is a liberal trial lawyer who attacks farmers. And now, he’s running against a farm girl,” she added.
If Ernst is successful in her bid against Braley, replacing retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, she will become the first woman elected to Congress from Iowa, meaning the DSCC will likely find itself in the difficult position of simultaneously blocking a woman and veteran from making history while also preaching about the so-called "war on women."