POLITICS
06/10/2014 10:32 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2014

Joni Ernst 'Appalled' By Husband's Inappropriate Facebook Posts

Nati Harnik / ASSOCIATED PRESS

A GOP Senate candidate said she is "appalled" by inflammatory comments her husband made on Facebook that came to light this week.

Joni Ernst, who faces Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) in November in the race to succeed Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), responded to Gail Ernst's posts, saying, “I'm appalled by my husband's remarks. They are uncalled for and clearly inappropriate. I've addressed this issue with my husband and that's between us," according to The Des Moines Register.

On Monday, BuzzFeed published a May 2013 Facebook post by Gail Ernst that included a photo of Hillary Clinton and called the former secretary of state a “hag.”

Democratic operatives provided The Des Moines Register screenshots of more Facebook comments, which the paper published Tuesday.

The posts include Facebook jokes, such as one from March 2013 that read: "What do you do if you see your ex running around in your front yard screaming and bloody? Stay calm. Reload. And try again."

Another Clinton post, from January 2013, was among those given to The Des Moines Register. The paper said this one “disparaged Clinton’s comments about the deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012” and included a comment from Gail Ernst that read, “Lying hag!”

The Des Moines Register highlights another post:

And on April 19, 2013, Gail Ernst shared a photo of Janet Napolitano, then the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with the comment: "And am I suppose (sic) to give up my guns? As if! Traitorous skank!"

His comment accompanied a photo circulating on the Internet that had this caption: "There is a nation-wide shortage of ammo because DHS has emptied the shelves, but when asked why her department is hording so much, her answer amounted to … I take the 5th."

Gail Ernst apologized for the posts and has since deleted them, The Des Moines Register reported.

"I would like to apologize for the inappropriate comments I have made on Facebook, which I deeply regret. It is not the respect that women deserve or the example I want to set for my daughters," Gail Ernst said in a statement to the paper.

HuffPost Pollster, which combines all publicly available polling data, shows Ernst leading Braley in the Senate race, 45.6 percent to 43.5 percent. Ernst bested four other candidates on June 3 to win the Republican nomination, with 56 percent of the vote.

If she wins in November, Ernst could become the first woman elected to Congress by Iowa.

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