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Critics label Braley ad “sexist”

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His first general election campaign ad has drawn criticism to Iowa Democrat Senate candidate Bruce Braley.

Related:  Braley to face Ernst for U.S. Senate seat

The ad, called “Peep,” sharply criticizes Braley’s Republican opponent, Joni Ernst. The ad makes direct reference to the Ernst ad that included a pig and references to hog castration.

The Braley ad also features a baby chick. That drew the ire of some critics, who say Braley needs to be careful about making “chick” references concerning his female opponent.

Braley’s campaign says the “Peep” ad targets Ernst ads ads that “say one thing, but her record says another.”

“Does anyone doubt that if a male Republican candidate ran an ad comparing a female Democratic candidate to a chick, outraged press releases from Democrats would demand that the ad be condemned and taken down?” read an statement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee. 

“First Bruce Braley insults Senator Grassley and every single Iowa farmer,” said Ernst spokesperson, Gretchen Hamel.  “Now he degrades and insults Iowa women by comparing Joni Ernst to a ‘chick.’”

University of Iowa political science professor Tim Hagle questioned the “chick” reference in a tweet after he saw the ad.

“State Sen. Joni Ernst still can’t point to a single example where she sponsored a bill to cut pork or wrote one measure to slash spending,” said Braley for Iowa Campaign Manager Sarah Benzing.  “I’d hardly call that makin’ ‘em squeal.”

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