The Iowa Democratic Senate candidate who launched his campaign by criticizing Sen. Joni Ernst's (R., Iowa) military service denied doing so on Thursday, lashing out at the man who recorded the initial comment.
Eddie Mauro's initial comment, made during his campaign launch event, was that Ernst's military experience had conditioned her to "fall in line" as a senator.
"Joni Ernst served our country in the National Guard, I applaud her for that, I respect that," Mauro said in a comment recorded by a tracker from America Rising, a conservative group. "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 what 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 are times you need to step out of line to say, I'm sorry Mr. Trump, you're wrong."
Mauro at his Thursday event confronted the tracker, who identified himself and asked Mauro to elaborate on his argument that Ernst's military service was a limitation for her, according to video provided to the Washington Free Beacon. Mauro answered by denying that he made the comment and saying "shame on you" to the man who recorded the video of him.
"I didn't say that," Mauro said. "Go watch the video carefully."
"One of the big problems in this country is we take stuff like that and then we mislead and twist and turn it," he continued. "Shame on you to go take a video and twist it around into something it wasn't."
Ernst is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate. The lieutenant colonel was first elected to the Senate in 2014 and is running for reelection this cycle.
Mauro's initial comment can be viewed below: