Joni Ernst 'Castrating Hogs' Ad: Republican Iowa Senate Candidate Stirs Controversy With Offbeat Campaign Spot [VIDEO]

Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Joni Ernst stirred controversy on the Internet when she said her experience “castrating hogs on an Iowa farm” means she’ll know how to get rid of pork and wasteful spending in Congress in a viral campaign video titled “Squeal.”

“I’m Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork,” the longshot GOP Senate candidate from Iowa says in the video posted to her YouTube and advertised on her campaign website. “My parents taught us how to live within our means. It’s time to force Washington to do the same --to cut wasteful spending, repeal Obamacare and balance the budget.”

Ernst said she approved the ad “because Washington’s full of big spenders. Let’s make them squeal.”

The video was posted Monday and gained traction on social media Tuesday. The clip drew controversy, with some commenters praising the ad and others saying it was made in poor taste.

“I commend you on your point, but your choice of words are less than humane,” wrote YouTubeuser tmoore2010. “There is a stern difference between being honest/ direct, to being vulgar and vile. Your ad is the terribly vulgar.”

“This makes me embarrassed to be from Iowa,” added BGS08, while runawayuniverse opined, “Just what this country needs. More nut jobs running for office.”

YouTube user Weird Ralph enjoyed the spot.

“Joni, you make me want to move to Iowa!” they said. “Best ad ever!”

“LOVE IT!!!  AND PLEASE DO IT!!!” added Michael Yeager.

One YouTube user wondered whether the ad was a spoof.

“Is this a joke?” said alrober1906.

Ernst is running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released March 13, Ernst has an uphill battle should she win the Republican primary and face the Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa. The survey showed Braley leading Ernst, 42 percent to 29 percent.

Braley also held double-digit leads against others in the GOP primary field.

"The curse of President Obama's low approval does not seem to be hurting U.S. Rep. Braley as he campaigns for the U.S. Senate seat which opens up as Sen. Tom Harkin retires," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

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