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U.S. Representative and Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley (D-IA) kicked off his general election campaign on Wednesday, with a television ad mocking newly minted Republican nominee Joni Ernst’s infamous promise to cut pork in Washington.

Braley’s ad, titled “Peep,” takes direct aim at the viral campaign spot in which Ernst claimed that her experience castrating hogs on an Iowa farm taught her how to cut pork, and makes her the best candidate to make Washington’s big spenders “squeal.”

“We’ve all heard the one about pigs squealing,” the narrator of Braley’s ad says. “But when Joni Ernst had the chance to do something in Iowa, we didn’t hear a peep. In the state Senate, Ernst never sponsored a bill to cut pork. Never wrote one measure to slash spending.”

“Joni Ernst ads are hard to forget,” the ad concludes, “but her record just doesn’t cut it.”

Braley’s ad, which began airing just hours after Ernst won Tuesday’s Republican primary with 56 percent of the vote, is the first of many tough attack ads to come in the race to replace retiring senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). Braley, who coasted to the Democratic nomination unopposed, has more than $2 million in cash on hand with which to attack Ernst.

Ernst has struggled to raise money, and spent much of what she has gathered to secure the Republican nomination. She has received significant support from outside groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Senate Conservatives Fund, however, and will continue to rely on their spending to fend off Braley’s attacks.

Braley is also certain to receive some outside help; shortly after Ernst clinched the nomination, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a statement slamming her as “the Sarah Palin of Iowa.”

Braley is favored to win the general election and keep the Senate seat in Democratic hands. Although Ernst has cut into Braley’s lead over the past several weeks, the four-term congressman still holds a 44 to 39 percent lead in The Huffington Post’s polling average of the race.

Screenshot: Bruce Braley/YouTube

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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