A video posted by the Washington Free Beacon features Democrat Eddie Mauro talking about Sen. Joni Ernst. Mauro, a twice-failed candidate, was discussing Ernst’s service in the military.
“Joni Ernst served our country in the National Guard, I applaud her for that, I respect that,” he said. “I would argue, though, that this kind of service is a little bit different. In military service, you kind of fall in line. They tell you want to do and you do what they tell you to do, that’s what it’s supposed to be about. In public service I think there’s times where you need to step out of line and you say, I’m sorry Mr. Trump, you’re wrong.”
In 2003 Ernst served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq. She led 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after 23 years of military service.
The Iowa GOP responded on Twitter:
“It is shameful that Iowa Dems think laying down one’s life for their country isn’t the kind of courage it takes to serve in Congress. As the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, Ernst knows how to lead soldiers and stand up for IA values in Congress.”
Representative Steven Holt (R-Denison) said Mauro’s statement is one of the “most ignorant statements” he has ever seen.
“He has no idea the level of critical thinking, decisive decision-making and leadership traits and principles that are engrained in military leaders through professional development, as well as service in peacetime and war,” Holt wrote. “He does not understand that military leadership, by necessity, must require a frank exchange of ideas and courageous principled positions. He owes an apology to military officers and senior enlisted leaders past and present, for this ignorant statement.”
Mauro was second in the Democrat primary in 2018 as he lost to Cindy Axne. In 2016 he fell to Rep. Jo Oldson in a Democrat primary for Iowa House.
Ironically, according to ballotpedia.org, Mauro’s 2018 campaign website highlighted some different campaign themes. One involved veterans:
“My office will give it their all every day for Iowa’s veterans, serving as both their advocate and a resource.”