Iowa GOP: Bruce Braley and Hillary Clinton are Anti-Entrepreneur

Iowa Dem Senate candidate previously said state’s young business owners are ‘sitting around’ and ‘drinking beer’

Bruce Braley
Bruce Braley / AP
October 29, 2014

Iowa Republicans say presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s recent rhetoric about businesses dovetails with recent comments by Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa), who accused Iowans at start-up companies of drinking beer in the afternoon and not coming up with any ideas.

Clinton joined Braley on the campaign trail on Wednesday to offer support in Iowa’s tight Senate race, while her husband and former president Bill will stump for Braley on Saturday. Clinton received a barrage of criticism last week from both the right and left after she told a crowd in Massachusetts to not "let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs."

Braley also made some questionable statements about entrepreneurs to a group of Iowa manufacturers earlier this month, as previously reported by the Weekly Standard.

"When I go to start-up companies in Iowa, I do not see what I saw when I walked into factories in Iowa 20 years ago," Braley said. "I see people sitting around in a large space with white boards. It may be 3 o’clock in the afternoon and they’re drinking beer and brainstorming. And coming up with lots of ideas, some of which are going nowhere."

Republicans criticized both Braley and Clinton as "out of touch."

"Between Hillary Clinton chiding small business owners and Congressman Braley saying that Iowa’s entrepreneurs drink too much beer, it’s clear the two of them are out of touch," said Republican Party of Iowa spokesman Jahan Wilcox in a statement. "While Obama, Clinton and Braley criticize Iowa’s job creators, [Republican Senate candidate] Joni Ernst will continue to support pro-growth, pro-jobs policies that will keep our economy moving forward."

Braley backed trial lawyer John Edwards and then Barack Obama over Clinton in the 2008 presidential nomination race for Democrats, which may explain why Clinton has just made it to Iowa after appearing with other Democratic candidates multiple times this year.

Ernst has a slim 2.1 percentage point lead in the race, according to the Real Clear Politics poll average.