Ernst taking Taylor Swift’s advice after Harkin comments
© Cameron Joseph

Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstGOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements Giffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Democratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him MORE is taking singer Taylor Swift's advice after Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinNew Hampshire parochialism, not whiteness, bedevils Democrats Democrats must question possible political surveillance Wisconsin lawmaker gets buzz-cut after vowing not to cut hair until sign language bill passed MORE (D-Iowa) said the Senate candidate was the wrong choice for his state, even though she may be “as good looking” as the pop icon.

"He is a sitting United States senator who should be supportive of any female that is running. He doesn't have to agree with my ideas,” Ernst, the GOP Iowa Senate candidate, told a reporter Monday.


“He compared me to Taylor Swift, that's O.K. We're gonna shake this off, we're gonna drive on, we're gonna do the right thing,” she joked, referencing Swift’s new hit “Shake It Off.”

“We're gonna push this next 24 hours and make sure that our message is heard," Ernst added.

At an event last week, Harkin suggested that Ernst was leading Dem Rep. Bruce Braley in the Iowa Senate race because she is attractive. 

“I don’t care if she’s as good looking as Taylor Swift or as nice as Mr. Rogers, but if she votes like [Rep.] Michele Bachmann [R-Minn.], she’s wrong for the state of Iowa,” Harkin said.

Earlier this morning, Ernst told Fox News that she was “very offended” by the comments.

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, an Ernst supporter, suggested on Fox News Monday that Harkin's remark was part of a broader Democratic strategy to focus on personal issues instead of policies.

"War on women, personal attacks, war on one thing or another," Romney said.

Shannon Bream of Fox News tweeted an apology today from Harkin, who said he "was wrong" and "didn't mean to hurt anyone."

With the polls opening tomorrow, Ernst isn’t out of the woods just yet. She’s held a slight lead since mid-September, but most surveys have been within the margin of error and the race is considered a toss-up.

— Jesse Byrnes contributed to this story.