Sarah Palin endorses 'castrating hogs' candidate
March 26th, 2014
01:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Sarah Palin endorses 'castrating hogs' candidate

(CNN) - Sarah Palin announced Wednesday she's throwing her support behind Joni Ernst for an open U.S. Senate seat in Iowa, picking up on the GOP candidate's new campaign theme of cutting "through the pork" in Washington.

The former Alaska governor, 2008 vice presidential nominee, and conservative firebrand said in a post to her Facebook page that if Deb Fischer, a Republican senator from Nebraska who Palin backed in 2012, "can see through the bull in Washington, then Iowa's Joni Ernst can help her cut through the pork."

Palin's farm analogy comes from Ernst first campaign ad, released Tuesday, where the candidate touts her Iowa background.

"I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm so when I get to Washington I'll know how to cut pork," Ernst says in the 30 second ad. "Washington's full of big spenders, let's make them squeal."

Ernst, a state senator, is battling a bunch of other candidates to win Iowa's June primary for the GOP Senate nomination. The winner of November's general election will succeed longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who's retiring at the end of this year rather than run for a sixth term in the chamber.

Democrat takes heat

Rep. Bruce Braley, the all but certain Democratic nominee for Senate in Iowa, has come under fire for dismissing longtime Iowa GOP Sen. Charles Grassley "a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school"

If the GOP captures the Senate majority, "you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee," Braley said in a campaign video picked up by a Republican opposition research group on Tuesday.

Ernst pounced on her opponent's comments.

"How out of touch with Iowa can you be? I call on Braley to immediately apologize to Senator Grassley, and every other farmer in Iowa," she said.

Braley later apologized for the comments and noted that both of his parents "grew up on Iowa farms during the Great Depression. It deeply influenced who they are and who I am, and gave me a profound appreciation for what farmers do for the world."

On Wednesday, his campaign continued to tout the Democratic candidate's credentials with farmers, sending out a press release highlighting Braley's work in Congress fighting for Iowa farmers.

Palin's endorsement of Ernst in the Iowa race is the latest in a series of Senate candidates she's thrown her star-power behind in recent weeks. Earlier this month she backed conservatives in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Mississippi for the Senate. Prior to those endorsements, Palin supported conservatives in Texas for a U.S. House seat and the state's gubernatorial contest.

Palin's endorsed a number of conservatives vying for congressional seats in the 2010 cycle, when a tea party-backed wave bumped Republicans into the majority in the House of Representatives. She cut back on endorsements in the 2012 elections.

Between Braley's farmer comments and Ernst pig castrating campaign ad, the Iowa race has received a heavy-dose of national attention this week. "The Tonight Show" host and comedian Jimmy Fallon played the "castrating hogs" bit of the ad twice before quickly cutting the video off during his show on Tuesday.

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Iowa.

CNN's Dana Davidsen, Paul Steinhauser, Alan Silverleib and Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Iowa • Sarah Palin
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. bill

    A Palin story. Bring on the hate 3 2 1.

    March 26, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Boehner rips Sarah Palin : 'What the hell is this, a joke?'

    Palin needs to measure twice and cut once !

    March 26, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Dead Bear

    Thank God she can't vote in all the states where she's endorsing candidates.

    March 26, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    "All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years." –Sarah Palin, unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008

    March 26, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Pete

    Maybe this guy Ernst could of castrated Palins father so we wouldn't be hearing any of her ignorent squealing either..Hey Palin do us a favor and try being irrelevant for once ...

    March 26, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    So some nobody supports some local yokle trying to make it to the big leagues. BFD. The debunking of those so-called "IRS", "Benghazi", "Obamacare" scandals, etc. have made for some REALLY slow news days.

    March 26, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Hey CNN! Untrained ape is now unacceptable?

    March 26, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Pander Bear

    Classy as always.

    March 26, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. asdf

    Because she never endorsed pork spending for her own state when she was actually working for a living right?


    March 26, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    What a lady she is, to be sure. Undoubtedly one of the premier reasons republicans are so enthralled with her, as are the democrats. What a joke.

    March 26, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sarah is endorsing someone who endorses the castration of pigs.
    That's her prerogative.
    Some endorse castrating Sarah.
    That's theirs.

    March 26, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Isn"t castration a form of birth control?

    March 26, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. rs

    Palin- the queen of the county fair. How quaint- and irrelevant.

    March 26, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. Beckie

    My question is....who really cares who Sarah Palin endorses. She didn't even finish a whole term as governor and lost a VP race, she should have never been in to begin with. What credentials does she really have? Stop giving the woman media attention, then we can all COMPLETELY forget about her.

    March 26, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    she supports Ernst 'cause she helped Simple Sarah deal with the "first dude"

    March 26, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Hector

    Silence DoGood

    "All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years." –Sarah Palin, unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008
    "Ive now been to 57 states-I think one left to go". –obama, unable to remember that there are only 50 states, Beaverton, Oregon, 2008.

    "RSPECT" –Obama, unable to spell RESPECT, March, 2014.

    March 26, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein

    All those that want "pork" cut out of the federal budget don't really understand what is going on with the budget. Projects that are needed for one state can help another. The other item is that many of the strange reseach projects that these people point are strange. The irony is that these people fight for military project that the DoD doesn't need or want and ask to have removed. The members of Congress do this to bring jobs to their district or state.

    March 26, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |