During a Sunday event, Democrat senate candidate Mike Franken called Iowa farmers “stooges” while discussing the current status of the agricultural industry.
Farmers are “rather stooges for a process they have no control over,” Franken said. Although farmers in Iowa and across the country are facing a number of issues out of their control – from record crop input prices to regulatory overreach by the Biden administration to supply chain struggles – Republican officials slammed Franken’s comments as out-of-touch and insensitive.
That’s in large part because Franken has a history of making insensitive and condescending comments about his real or perceived opponents, namely Sen. Chuck Grassley. During a May Democrat primary debate, Franken maligned Grassley, an active corn farmer, by saying, “a farmer. That’s laughable.” More recently during a June campaign event, Franken similarly made a number of brash comments about veterans and demanded that a small town mayor infringe on one of his constituents’ free speech.
It doesn’t help that Franken has also embraced numerous policy positions that are antithetical to the agricultural community. Franken, for instance, criticized Sen. Joni Ernst for supporting the repeal of Waters of the U.S. – a cumbersome regulatory framework that affects 97 percent of land in Iowa – and has opposed year-round sales of E-15 gasoline.
Franken’s comments have drawn comparisons to Ernst’s 2014 Democrat challenger Bruce Braley, whose campaign infamously imploded after he was recorded slamming Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa, who never went to law school” at a fundraiser with trial attorneys in Texas.
“In between his condescension and out-of-touch positions, Mike Franken is doing a solid job emulating another illustrious Democrat,” a Republican National Committee spokesman said in an email blast referencing Braley, “who had issues of his own against Iowa farmers before going on to crash and burn come election day.”