Ex-Sen. Webb backs Braley in Iowa

Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), on Thursday announced his support for Iowa senate hopeful Rep. Bruce Braley (D).

“I am proud to support Bruce Braley because I know he would continue his fierce advocacy for veterans in the United States Senate,” Webb said in a statement.

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The endorsement could ultimately prove mutually beneficial. Webb, Vietnam War veteran and former secretary of the Navy, is mulling a long-shot bid for the White House in 2016 and could be trying to cultivate Braley’s support early.

Meanwhile Braley has spent the better part of the last two weeks refuting charges made by Republicans — including his opponent, state Sen. Joni Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard — that he skipped a majority of hearings held by the congressional panel that oversees the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department.

Indeed, Webb’s endorsement reads almost like a line-by-line rebuttal of the charges made by the GOP.

“As a veteran and former Secretary of the Navy, I know Bruce delivers results for Iowa’s veterans and veterans across the nation,” he said.

“Whether he’s fighting to ensure the members of our armed forces receive the benefits they have earned, helping to ease the transition between the military and civilian workforce, or making sure our veterans receive the health care they deserve, Braley has always stood up for the men and women who courageously serve our country,” Webb said.