Two-time failed Presidential candidate Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst in Iowa Sunday night. Apparently, Ernst’s campaign thinks bringing in a Presidential wannabe that couldn’t get past an underfunded John McCain in the GOP primary in 2008 and was absolutely obliterated by Barack Obama in 2012 is going to be just the ticket to bring out the swing vote in Iowa. Ernst, who is running against Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley for Iowa’s open US Senate seat, has already had Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz make multiple trips to campaign for her. I guess it makes sense to bring in the ‘big guns’ now.
In typical Romney fashion, he showed up Sunday night ill-prepared and made his whole speech about Obama, as if bringing up the President constantly will somehow make Romney’s embarrassing defeat in 2012 go away. While attacking Braley by attaching him to Obama, he ended up making a flub, mispronouncing Braley’s name.
“I know that Iowa voted for President Obama twice, but Iowa is not going vote for Bill Braley and vote for him a third time, that’s for sure.”
Yep, Romney got Braley’s first name wrong. Then again, this is a man who got his own first name wrong during a televised debate. Any mileage Republicans thought they’d be able to get after the First Lady stumbled over Braley’s name went away after Romney did what he doers best — make uncomfortably cringe-worthy mistakes and comments.
During Monday’s episode of NOW with Alex Wagner, Daily Beast columnist Ana Marie Cox and Wagner wondered how Romney is really going to help Ernst in her extremely close race with Braley.
Both Cox and Wagner were a little dumbfounded about Romney’s appearance, considering that he lost Iowa handily, 52% to 46%, and Obama also carried the state in 2008. Romney finished second to Mike Huckabee (who was not the Republican nominee) in the 2008 Iowa Republican caucus. It isn’t as if Romney is a shutdown closer for the Republican Party. Yet, there he was Sunday night, bringing his milquetoast best.
Currently, Ernst and Braley are practically tied in the polls. Braley has had a tough time recovering with middle-of-the-road Iowa voters after making statements earlier this year that seemed to disparage farmers. However, Ernst hasn’t been able to run away with the race as her extremist ideology has become more apparent since gaining the Republican nomination. On top of that, a new potential scandal surrounding government contracts given to her father’s company may also hurt her campaign in these final weeks. Finally, as Sarah Jones wrote Sunday, her association with Palin and the Koch brothers is hurting her with voters.