Iowa Senator Joni Ernst provoked a storm of criticism on Twitter after attempting to shame her election opponent for the crime of taking selfies with her dog and ultimately learned the hard way: leave the pets out of it.
The incumbent Republican senator who is seeking re-election in November blasted her opponent, Democrat Theresa Greenfield, for her lack of leadership which was apparently demonstrated by the fact that she takes pictures with her dog.
Speaking during a campaign conference call on Wednesday, Ernst called out Greenfield, saying she “has been hiding in her basement taking selfies with her dog Ringo.”
“So, you know, she has not exhibited leadership throughout this entire process,” the senator concluded.
When audio of the “attack” on Ringo began making the Twitter rounds on Friday, it irritated dog lovers everywhere — so much so that the hashtags #IStandWithRingo and #RingoGate began trending.
The comment was highlighted by Greenfield’s communications director, Sam Newton, who said Ernst resorted to bringing Ringo into political fray because she was “down in the polls and running a campaign with no message.”
Users quickly began sharing photos of their own pets ‘showing support’ to the canine victim of Iowa politics.
Some cat owners even decided to join the chorus of condemnation levelled at Ernst.
Greenfield immediately sought to capitalize on the popularity that befell her fluffy pet and put out a call from “good boy” Ringo for campaign donations.
While one incensed tweeter claimed the debacle meant Ernst “hates dogs,” that does not in fact appear to be true.
Indeed, somewhat ironically, Ernst is posing with a dog in her own Twitter profile picture. In 2019, she announced that a dog named Jax would be her “Chief Pawliticial Strategist.”
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