Democratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him

A Democratic Senate candidate challenging Iowa Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstPolitics and the pandemic — Republicans are rightly worried Ernst calls for public presidential campaign funds to go to masks, protective equipment GOP lukewarm on talk of airline bailout MORE (R) for her seat on Thursday released a new campaign ad showing Ernst shooting at the challenger with a handgun.

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In the ad, Eddie Mauro, the Democratic candidate, is walking through an Iowa field as bullets whiz by him, hitting fences and trees in an Iowa field. The ad uses footage from Ernst’s own 2014 campaign, in which she shoots a handgun at a shooting range while “taking aim” at “wasteful government spending” and the Affordable Care Act. 

“One of the reasons I’m running [for Senate]?” Mauro asks in the ad as a bullet hits a fence behind him, “Because our current senator, Joni Ernst, she thinks it’s okay to run ads glorifying guns. She doesn’t seem to care that many of those guns will be pointed at our kids, our teachers, churchgoers, moviegoers, concertgoers, our police officers." 

“While she’s afraid to stand up to the NRA, or common sense gun laws, I’m ready to stand up for Iowa and keep our schools, our communities, our kids safe,” he continues.

 

Mauro calls Ernst’s term a “nonstop assault on Iowans’ rights” in the ad and calls President TrumpDonald John TrumpDefense industrial base workers belong at home during this public health crisis Maduro pushes back on DOJ charges, calls Trump 'racist cowboy' House leaders hope to vote Friday on coronavirus stimulus MORE her “boss in the White House.” 

“On the right to affordable health care, on a woman’s right to choose, on workers’ rights and farmers’ rights,” Mauro continues, punctuating each item with the sound of a gunshot.  

“I won’t accept the status quo. Joni Ernst, Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate unanimously passes T coronavirus stimulus package | Unemployment claims surge to 3.3 million | In three-day surge, stocks recover 20 percent of losses Senate Democrats vow to keep pushing for more funds for mail-in voting Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill MORE, Donald Trump and the NRA — you won’t like what I have to say,” Mauro continues, as a bullet hits a tree branch in the Iowa field.

Ernst's campaign responded to the ad Thursday, tweeting "It’s outrageous and offensive that @eddiejmauro would make light of gun violence in order to help his campaign. He should be ashamed and this disgusting ad should be taken down immediately."

 

It’s not the first time other candidates have mocked Ernst’s 2014 campaign ad. Businessman Mark Jacobs (R), who ran against Ernst in the 2014 Republican primary for the senate seat, released an ad at the time accusing Ernst of “firing blanks.”

Ernst easily won her Senate seat by more than 8 points in 2014.