Braley recants comments

KIMT News 3 – Representative Bruce Braley is issuing an apology following a recorded statement that some farmers feel targeted the profession.

In a private fundraiser miles away from the state, representative Bruce Braley took his opportunity to comment on opponent Senator Chuck Grassley and his qualifications to serve as Chair of the Judiciary Committee.

“If you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice. Someone who’s been literally fighting toward reform for 30 years or 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,” said Braley.

The now viral video is making headlines across the state as several farmers say they felt Braley undermined the importance of farmers and what they do, but the sting wasn’t felt by all.

“To tell you the truth, I didn’t pay much attention to it,” said Paul Harris, a Mason City farmer.

Farmer Harris says while he wasn’t personally offended by the comments, he understands why other farmers would be.

“The agricultural occupation is one of the most important occupations and obviously if we can’t feed the world, we’re in trouble. So I think we’re a very valuable occupation and that we need representatives in Washington to speak our language you might say,” said Harris.

Since the statement, Senator Grassley says he’s spoken with Braley and is working to put the comments and any controversy behind him.

“In the meantime, I don’t want somebody to read something that was maybe a paraphrasing of a statement and that raises even more questions because I don’t want any more questions raised. I’m moving on,” said Grassley.

After reaching out to the Braley campaign, they issued a statement saying, “I apologize to Senator Grassley and anyone I may have offended. I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship even though we disagree on some issues…I have a tremendous respect for Iowa farmers and how important they are.”

Representative Bruce Braley is the only Democrat running for Iowa’s open US Senate seat left vacant by Senator Tom Harkin.

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