Iowa Senate candidate compares budget cutting to hog castration

Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R) compares hog castration to budget cutting, promising she knows how to "cut pork" in her first TV ad.

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"I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington I'll know how to cut pork. My parents taught us to live within our means. It's time to force Washington to do the same, to cut wasteful spending, repeal ObamaCare and balance the budget," she says in the ad, filmed in a barn. "I'm Joni Ernst and I approve this message because Washington is full of big spenders. Let's make 'em squeal."

Ernst, a state senator and military veteran who is being quietly backed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), is facing a crowded GOP field for the nomination. Self-funding businessman Mark Jacobs (R) has been on the air for months and has led in early primary polls, though that's likely driven by his cash advantage more than anything else.

The ad is initially just running on cable in Des Moines, according to her campaign, but a spokesman says the ad buy will expand in the coming weeks.

Republicans are hopeful they can coalesce around a a candidate and defeat Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) in the fall to win retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) seat.