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

A Democratic Senate candidate challenging Iowa Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates Bipartisan momentum builds for war on terror memorial GOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization 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 TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP 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 McConnellHow the Democratic Party's campaign strategy is failing America GOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation We don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis 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.