Courtesy of Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate

GOP Senate candidate points gun, takes aim at Obamacare


Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst carries more than just lipstick in her purse.

As her new lighthearted campaign video discloses, the state senator’s bag is filled with ear plugs, ammunition, and a gun. She is ready to take aim – literally – at wasteful spending.

“Once she sets her sights on Obamacare, Joni’s gonna unload,” the narrator says in the video as Ernst shoots bullets at a target bullseye.

The video, titled “Shot” and published Sunday, is her second campaign advertisement to turn heads. The conservative, who the narrator describes as “not your typical candidate,” is a mother, farm girl, and a lieutenant colonel. Earlier this year, Ernst promised to make Washington squeal in a different campaign advertisement that shows pigs in a barn while discussing her past castrating hogs, as well as her desire to repeal Obamacare, cut wasteful spending, and balance the budget.

Hardball with Chris Matthews, 3/25/14, 7:56 PM ET

Cutting the pork-barrel spending

Sideshow: Conservative candidate Joni Ernst is citing her experience on an Iowa farm as her main qualification for senator.
Ernst, who last month took the lead in the state’s crowded GOP primary, isn’t the first congressional hopeful to use firearms – and humor – as promotional material ahead of the midterm elections. Will Brooke, a Republican candidate from Alabama, also literally took aim at the Affordable Care Act in his “Let’s do some damage” spot published earlier this year. Additionally, Iowa Senate candidate Bob Quast, an independent, appears with his Glock pistol throughout a lighthearted campaign video in which he defends the Second Amendment.

Ernst is one of five Republicans vying for the seat currently held by longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. Their opponents include Quast and Democratic candidate Bruce Braley. Iowa is considered a swing state, but President Barack Obama carried it twice. Winning the seat could help Republicans take back the Senate later this year.

Ernst is the winning “Mama Grizzly” for the role, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently said. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also publicly supported her.

Morning Joe , 4/28/14, 8:02 AM ET

Palin says Ernst right 'Mama Grizzly' for job

NBC News’ Kasie Hunt travels to Iowa for the latest installment of “States of Play,” and she finds former VP candidate Sarah Palin endorsing GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who became somewhat famous for a campaign ad involving pigs. Hunt also speaks…

Iowa, Joni Ernst and Senate

GOP Senate candidate points gun, takes aim at Obamacare