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POLITICS: PennAve

Ted Cruz takes dig at Bruce Braley in Iowa op-ed

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Politics,Agriculture,Iowa,2014 Elections,Ted Cruz,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Bruce Braley

Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Iowa, has been the target of relentless Republican attacks since a video from a fundraiser revealed Braley dismissing Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley as a "farmer from Iowa" to a crowd of trial lawyers.

This time, it's Sen. Ted Cruz doing the ribbing.

"Well, let me tell you something," the U.S. senator from Texas wrote Thursday in The Iowa Republican. "Washington would be a lot better off if we had more farmers in Congress and a lot fewer trial lawyers."

In the video, which was circulated last week by the Republican group America Rising, Braley said Grassley would be ill-suited to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee because he is "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school."

Braley later issued a statement of apology, saying he has "tremendous respect for Iowa farmers and appreciate how important they are to our state."

But the political damage was done -- and the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Braley's potential Republican opponents have latched on to his quotable mistake.

Ditto Cruz, who is weighing whether to run for president in 2016 and has been steadily building his presence in Iowa, an important early-voting state in the Republican primary, where Grassley is the most popular homegrown politician currently in office, as reflected in public polls.

"We need more people like Sen. Grassley who rely on good, old-fashioned common sense than those who depend on an army of accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists to get their way in Washington," Cruz wrote in his op-ed. "That's why I'd venture that if any Republican had to choose between a trial lawyer and a farmer, they'd pick the farmer. I would."

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Author:

Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner