Democratic challenger seeks to use Ernst's 2014 ad about castrating hogs against her-PRINT ONLY

Joni Ernst, then an Iowa state senator, on the campaign trail during her run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2014.

On her way to capturing the Republican nomination in Iowa in 2014, now-Sen. Joni Ernst released one of the most memorable ads of the cycle. In it, she bragged about having castrated hogs while growing up on an Iowa farm and pledged to use those pork-cutting skills to “make ’em squeal” in Washington.

On Monday, a new Democratic challenger to Ernst sought to turn her words against her.

“Listen folks, she didn’t castrate anyone,” Theresa Greenfield, a Des Moines small-business owner, proclaims in a video announcing her 2020 Senate bid. “She cast a vote to let the corporate lobbyists keep feasting like hogs at the trough.”

As Greenfield speaks, several hogs are shown with labels showing tax breaks achieved by drug companies, Wall Street and insurance companies.

Much of the almost three-minute video is devoted to Greenfield’s upbringing on a farm — “farming was our way of life,” she says — and the values she says that imparted.

To face Ernst, Greenfield would first have to emerge from a Democratic primary.

During her 2014 campaign, Ernst was lagging in the race for the GOP nomination before the release of her 30-second “Squeal” spot. The ad turned her into a contender. In the first three days, the spot was viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube and became the talk of cable news.

After winning the GOP primary, Ernst, a former state lawmaker and combat veteran, defeated Democrat Bruce Braley, then a U.S. congressman, 52% to 44%.

Ernst has remained relatively popular during her time in the Senate. In February, a Des Moines Register poll found that 57% of Iowans approved of the job she was doing.

Greenfield ran for Congress in 2018. Despite a promising start, she dropped out of the primary after her campaign manager falsified signatures on her candidate petition. The campaign manager took out a full-page advertisement in the Register this year to apologize.