GOP Campaign Arm Says ‘Farmer’ Remark Is ‘Akin-Like’ Moment


The National Republican Senatorial Committee is arguing that Rep. Bruce Braley’s (D-IA) warning that a mere farmer could possibly chair the Senate Judiciary Committee makes him Democrats’ version of Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) this election cycle.

Similarly, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also tweeted out Braley’s comments.

Dayspring, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Daybreak daily newsletter said Braley had become the “Todd Akin-like candidate.”

“For months, reporters and pundits have been searching for the next Todd Akin-like candidate,” Dayspring wrote. “Turns out that they were looking in the wrong party. Yesterday Bruce Braley, whom Democrats have repeatedly touted as one of their top recruits in the country, torpedoed his own campaign by being caught on camera attacking Senator Chuck Grassley (to an out-of-state audience of trial lawyer donors) for being a “farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.”

A day earlier video of Braley at a fundraiser in Texas surfaced where the Democratic Senate candidate warned that if Republicans took control of the Senate in 2014, a farmer with no law degree would become the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The comment referred to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who is the ranking member on the committee and does not have a law degree (Braley does).

The comparison seems a bit of a stretch though. Akin’s gaffe of the 2012 cycle was saying that the female body has ways of shutting down a pregnancy that is the result of “legitimate rape.”

A few hours after the video of Braley surfaced he apologized.

TPM asked Dayspring how closely Braley’s comments paralleled Akin’s.

“My point was that if you believe that Braleys comments are damaging and will haunt Braley throughout the campaign (as most pundits seem to agree), then we are saying the same thing,” Dayspring said in an email. “Voters will decide the ultimate impact of that damage, but most would certainly agree that attacking farmers and speaking down about people without law degrees is a political problem.”