The Democrat who won the nomination for U.S. Senate in Iowa is even more radical than most when it comes to the issue of immigration.
Mike Franken, who shocked political observers when he beat former Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) for the U.S. Senate nomination and an opportunity to face longtime Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in November’s general election, has a long history of advocating open borders policies that are harmful to American workers and families.
“The wall is idiotic,” Franken said in 2020, for instance, also promoting the “kids in cages” false attack against then-President Donald Trump. Leftists had been arguing Trump put “kids in cages” on the border, but the enclosures were actually established during Democrat former President Barack Obama’s administration — during which Biden was vice president.
"Get the kids out of the cages. The wall is idiotic."
–Mike Franken, with a clear answer on immigration. #IASen
— Admiral Mike Franken (@FrankenforIowa) May 19, 2020
That line is one he repeatedly used that year, when he ran for Senate and lost the Democrat nomination to Theresa Greenfield. Greenfield, who lost the general election to Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), has gone on to serve in Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration.
But during that primary, Franken repeatedly touted positions at odds with American sovereignty. He also called for policies that would “protect” so-called “DREAMers,” who are illegal alien youths who entered the country as minors.
We need to protect DREAMers. We need to increase immigration judges. We need to free kids in cages. And let's be clear: Trump's wall is idiotic. #IASen
— Admiral Mike Franken (@FrankenforIowa) May 20, 2020
When asked during a primary debate in May 2020 with Greenfield if it should be a crime to cross the border illegally, Franken said it should not be a crime.
“It’s not a crime,” Franken said of people crossing the border illegally. “Get the kids out of the cages. The wall is idiotic.”
Asked about these radical views from Franken, Grassley responded harshly in a statement to Breitbart News.
Grassley said in the statement:
President Biden’s open border policy abdicates America’s sovereignty. We are a nation of laws and society is held together by the rule of law, from public safety to the economy. Anyone who truly listens to Iowans and cares what they have to say would not be supporting amnesty, sending payments to illegal immigrants and making it possible for anyone to come into our country without our permission. As the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’m leading the fight against President Biden’s open border policies. Iowans are sick and tired of a president who doesn’t enforce our laws while we have historic numbers of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border. Finishing the border wall is a commonsense step for border security and the taxpayer, especially considering Americans are paying $3 million a day to guard the unused steel for the wall Biden canceled on his first day in office.
Franken has also attacked Trump and his supporters, including veterans who support Trump.
To some veterans who explain that they are not 'for' Trump but do like his policies–the answer is 'no.'
— Admiral Mike Franken (@FrankenforIowa) January 8, 2022
He also described people who supported Trump as engaged in “slavish devotion” to the former president, and he attacked them as “Republican Heretics”:
Watch successive waves of former Trump acolytes begin forgetting about their slavish devotion to The Donald. He is done, a has-been.
— Admiral Mike Franken (@FrankenforIowa) February 2, 2022
Let's not let the view of the last Administration get softened, and language matters. Trump followers are not conservative Republicans. They are heretics, Republican Heretics.
— Admiral Mike Franken (@FrankenforIowa) September 13, 2021
These immigration and Trump positions are hardly the only extremist comments and views that Franken has espoused. Earlier this week, the Washington Free Beacon published a story detailing how Franken believes — as he said at a campaign event just last week — that there is a conspiracy between capitalists and evangelicals to “dumb down” American youths.
Franken argues in the video, published by the Free Beacon, that the right’s recent focus on education is really because Republicans want to “make people dumb and lemmings.”
“Is this what Newt Gingrich wanted everybody to do in the ’90s?” Franken said. ”Dumb down America as much as we can because the demographics are working against the Republican Party? It’s true. It appears so.”
Gingrich responded to the shocking video by saying he found the Democrat’s comments “laughable.”
“As a Ph.D. in European history and author of more than 40 books, I find it laughable that Franken thinks I could be anti-learning. I participated in the launch of President Reagan’s dramatic report A Nation at Risk in 1983,” Gingrich said. “The teachers’ unions and their Democratic Party loyalists have fought against reform every step of the way. Children should not be trapped in terrible schools that cripple their future. Parents have the right to know what is being taught to their children.”
What’s more, Iowans including Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) were appalled when Franken tried to politicize the recent Highland Park shooting in nearby Illinois, twisting the events there somehow into an attack on Grassley. Hinson fired back, saying Franken’s behavior was “disgusting” and “just shameful”:
Disgusting. Using the murder of 7 innocent Americans for political spin is alone abhorrent, but comparing your opponent to a mass murderer that opened fire during a Fourth of July parade is just shameful.
Admiral Franken should apologize immediately. https://t.co/0edJyA1lDh
— Ashley Hinson (@hinsonashley) July 6, 2022
The fact that Democrats nominated this person, who has regularly espoused such radical views, is something that could quickly eliminate the ability for Democrats to compete in the Hawkeye State this year. Iowa, once a battleground political bellwether state, has been trending steadily more and more towards Republicans in recent elections. Voter registrations showing people leaving the Democrat party and joining the GOP in droves since the 2020 election would seem to only further enforce that trend. Recent polling from the Des Moines Register also shows Trump leading Biden by big margins there in a potential 2024 rematch. Trump won Iowa in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and again in 2020 against Biden.