Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann on a press call Thursday morning bashed an ad by Iowa Voices that attacked U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s record on health care.

“It really is repulsive. And I chose that word carefully. It’s repulsive to see the democrats politicizing this deadly corona pandemic and an attack ad targeting Joni Ernst. They’re attempting to prey on Iowans’ fears and spread more lies just to prop up Teresa Greenfield,” he said.

“That’s what you have to do. When you are campaigning from what Chuck Schumer said a windowless basement, and you’re not accessible, so you let dark money groups stir up fear during one of the greatest challenges that we have faced in my lifetime here in this state,” Kaufmann added.

The ad starts with a message from Dr. Daniel McGuire. The ad does not disclose, but McGuire is the husband of Dr. Andy McGuire, the Iowa Democratic Party chair from 2015 to 2017, and a failed Democrat gubernatorial candidate in 2018. McGuire also donated to Greenfield’s campaign in 2019.

“I’ve dedicated the last 30 years of my life to trying to help patients. Many of us have pre-existing conditions, something as simple as high blood pressure,” he said.

A narrator comes on to say, “We’re in a public health crisis, and those with pre-existing conditions are most of them. But Joni Ernst voted to take away their health care.”

McGuire then says, “Many of my patients would no longer have health insurance. Tell Senator Joni Ernst to stop voting to deny my patients health insurance.”

Kaufmann pointed out Ernst’s record on pre-existing conditions.

“Senator Ernst is helping to lead the Protect Act to help those battling pre-existing conditions. Here is the fact the 2019 version of the Protect Act that Senator Ernst supports, specifically addresses the issues of pre-existing conditions. What the Democrats are trying to do is blur versions of it, and then hoping that people don’t dig deeper,” he argued.

Kaufmann also pointed out that pre-existing conditions have nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s why I’m calling this a double-barrel lie that’s spun. This whole thing stinks to high heaven,” he said.

Dr. David Stilley, a clinical physician and Vice President of DoctorsNow, joined Kaufmann on the call. 

“I currently practice medicine in Des Moines, Iowa, but I began my career in a small town on Harlan, Iowa, western Iowa, delivering babies, doing office care. I currently am the owner of two small businesses, both my clinics as well as another business, and it’s really disappointing to me as a small business owner to see the Democrats attempting to attach every plank of their platform nationally to any of the bills that are being intended to help Coronavirus victims,” he said.

Stilley pointed out that both McGuire and his wife, as physicians, are likely not under the same stress as hourly workers.

“I’ve had to layoff employees I closed two of my three clinics. This has been a devastating situation,” he said.

Stilley said it is a “particularly bothersome” time with Iowans going through such hardships for IowaVoices to release an ad he said is not based on facts. 

“From my perspective, Senator Ernst has worked very hard across party lines to make the protective equipment available. She has worked to make sure Iowa’s Medicare beneficiaries remain protected; that small towns across Iowa are receiving the funding and the supplies that they need to continue to provide good quality care and to keep the first responders safe,” he added.

Kaufmann explained that while IowaVoices have the right to run such an ad, Iowa Republicans have the right to call it out.

“If you’re ginning up fear, right in the middle of a pandemic, I think at least Iowans need to understand that that is happening,” Kaufmann explained.

Listen to the call:

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