The campaign for U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, criticized an “outrageous and offensive” new political ad posted by her 2020 Democratic challenger Thursday that shows Ernst as firing gunshots at him while he talks about gun control, climate change, health care and taking on President Donald Trump, Fox News informed.
In the ad, candidate Eddie Mauro, a businessman and congressional candidate in 2018, introduces himself as a “progressive Democrat” before telling viewers he decided to run for Ernst’s Senate seat in part because “our current senator, Joni Ernst, she thinks it’s OK to run ads glorifying guns.”
As Mauro speaks, the video repeatedly cuts to footage from a 2014 campaign ad for Ernst showing her shooting a gun at an indoor range. Then the ad cuts back and forth to Mauro as he walks through a field with bullets whizzing by, narrowly missing him before striking a fence post, the grass, barrels and other objects. The edits make it appear as though Ernst is firing the shots at him.
“She doesn’t seem to care that many of those guns will be pointed at our kids, our teachers, churchgoers, moviegoers, concertgoers, police officers,” Mauro said of Ernst. “Well, I care.”
After the ad went public, Ernst’s campaign posted a response on Twitter.
“It’s outrageous and offensive that @eddiejmauro would make light of gun violence in order to help his campaign,” came the statement posted under the “Team Joni” Twitter handle. “He should be ashamed and this disgusting ad should be taken down immediately.”
Later in his ad, Mauro takes aims at President Trump, referring to him as Ernst’s “boss in the White House” and the Trump agenda as a “non-stop assault on our climate, on our democracy, on decency, on what it means to be an American.”
“I’m the best Democrat to take on Joni and the Washington establishment,” Mauro adds. “I won’t take PAC money, I won’t accept the status quo. So, Joni Ernst, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, the NRA — you won’t like what I have to say.”