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Did Sen. Tom Harkin Truly Insult Iowa Candidate Joni Ernst?

Did Sen. Tom Harkin Truly Insult Iowa Candidate Joni Ernst?

In a speech, given in front of Democrats at the Story County fall barbecue, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) made comparisons about Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate.

Harkin compared Ernst to the late Mr. Rogers, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Taylor Swift, the country singer. Calling upon the characteristics of each person, Harkin said that if Ernst’s votes are in line with Rep. Bachmann, she shouldn’t represent Iowa in Washington.

Harkin’s comments came during the final week of the 2014 midterm campaign. He remarked on his comments after Ernst said that they offended her. In his remarks, he said that he is human and sometimes makes mistakes.

Upon hearing of Harkin’s statement, Ernst said she was offended by what he said. She went on to say that, if her name had been John instead of Joni, Harkin wouldn’t have made the statement.

Ernst went even further in denouncing Harkins’ assessment of her as a woman and political candidate. She poo-pooed the war on women, reminding reporters that she has fought in the Iraq war. Concluding her statement, she suggested that Democrats should honor servicewomen and servicemen when they mention the word “war.” You go Joni, Marnie, me and women everywhere are behind you on this one!

Harkin should have spoken more carefully. It’s interesting, however, that Ernst ignored comparison of her personality and political readiness to Mr. Rogers and to Rep. Michele Bachmann, who faces several criminal indictments stemming from actions her presidential campaign staff are alleged to have taken.