UPDATE: Braley blasts Grassley in online video - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Braley blasts Grassley in online video

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U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

UPDATE: Rep. Bruce Braley is catching some flak after a cellphone video surfaced this week, in which he criticizes Sen. Charles Grassley.

In the video, released by the interest group Priorities for Iowa, Braley asks a room of Texas trial lawyers to support his bid for U.S. Senate.

"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," Braley says on the recording. "Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Some have compared the tape to presidential candidate Mitt Romney's controversial leaked comments saying 47% of the nation wouldn't vote for him.

KWWL political analyst and University of Northern Iowa political science professor Chris Larimer said he doesn't think the two tapes are on the same level.

"With the 47% comment by Romney, that fit into a larger narrative about Romney being out of touch," Larimer said. "With Braley, this has yet to fit into a larger narrative about him or about his campaign or about his candidacy."

Larimer said now that so many people have smartphone cameras in their pocket, politicians' comments like this are even more likely to end up online.

"Anymore, anything anyone says is going to be captured on some type of camera or phone, whatever it might be, but you just have to tread very carefully," he said.

With 8 months to go to the election, he said this video doesn't necessarily mean the end of Braley's campaign. Though based on polling data, Larimer said criticizing Grassley seemed unwise.

"Grassley is very popular in the state," Larimer said. "One of the things that kind of endears him to Iowans is that he isn't your typical elected officials in the U.S. Senate."

Grassley's representatives responded to Braley's comments Tuesday.

"...Sen. Grassley’s one of only two working family farmers in the United States Senate, where he brings Iowa common sense to work for ag, anti-trust, transportation, environmental, energy, trade, health care, communications, national security, and tax policy that works for all of America," they said in a statement.

Braley, on the other hand, has apologized for the remarks.

"I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship even though we disagree on some issues," Braley said in a statement to KWWL.


ORIGINAL STORY: Bruce Braley's campaign for U.S. Senate is taking heat Tuesday due to a YouTube video circulating online.

The group Priorities for Iowa released the video, which they say takes a stab at U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican, as well as Iowa farmers.

It reportedly shows U.S. Rep. Braley, a Democrat, speaking to a room of trial lawyers at a fundraiser in Texas.

In the video, Braley says, "(I)f you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice. Someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years, in a visible and public way, on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Or," Braley continued, "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. Because if Democrats lose the majority, Chuck Grassley will be chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

When contacted for comment, a spokesman from Grassley's office released this statement:

“By the logic expressed on this recording, a trial lawyer shouldn't be involved in policy making about agriculture, or energy, or health care," Grassley's office said.

His office noted Grassley's work on the Judiciary Committee, his co-authoring of the False Claims Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act and his work exposing Operation Fast and Furious.

“Alongside that, Sen. Grassley’s one of only two working family farmers in the United States Senate, where he brings Iowa common sense to work for ag, anti-trust, transportation, environmental, energy, trade, health care, communications, national security, and tax policy that works for all of America," his office continued.

Braley released an apology Tuesday afternoon.

“I apologize to Senator Grassley and anyone I may have offended," he said. "I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship, even though we disagree on some issues.

He also noted he has supported policies that benefit Iowa farmers.

“My parents both grew up on Iowa farms during the Great Depression," Braley said. "It deeply influenced who they are and who I am, and gave me a profound appreciation for what farmers do for the world. One of my grandfathers was a charter member of the Iowa Farm Bureau. I grew up in rural Iowa, doing farm jobs and working a grain elevator.

"I have tremendous respect for Iowa farmers and appreciate how important they are to our state, and I’m grateful to have the support of hundreds of farmers across Iowa," he continued.

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