On Friday's CNN Newsroom, Brooke Baldwin played up the apparent similarity between Senator-elect Joni Ernst's laugh and that of Cruella De Vil, the antagonist from Disney's 101 Dalmations. Baldwin aired a short segment on Ernst and two newly-elected Republican women in Congress. She ended the part about the Iowa politician with her comparison: "Don't forget about that laugh. Some people call it contagious; other people have likened it to this." The anchor then twice played clips of Ernst laughing at her victory rally, followed by De Vil's evil cackle. [video below]
During her report, Baldwin zeroed in on one thing that Ernst, Representative-elect Mia Love, and Senator-elect Shelly Moore Capito had in common: their support of gun rights. The journalist noted that Love's "first date with her husband: the firing range." She later pointed out that Capito is "NRA-endorsed," and that Senator-elect Ernst "says she has a beautiful little Smith and Wesson nine millimeter, and it goes with her everywhere."
It should be pointed out that the left-wing Wonkette blog blasted the Iowa Republican in a Wednesday morning post:
...Joni Ernst alone among the Republican winners last night bolstered our faith in one of our most cherished beliefs: that the forces of nature and politics can cohere in any electoral climate to propel a folksy, anti-intellectual, bomb-throwing pitbull of a midwestern Republican lady to Washington to keep rational discourse from occurring uninterrupted in Congress.
After likening her to outgoing Representative Michele Bachmann, contributor Beth Ethier dropped a reference to the Disney villain: "We are certain that, despite all appearances, her Cruella de Vil laughter during her victory speech was not prompted by fond memories of secretly killing and feeding the fryer guy to her Hardee’s customers all those years ago."
The full transcript of Brook Baldwin's segment from Friday's CNN Newsroom:
BROOKE BALDWIN: Midterm elections this week shook up the Senate, but how did they make history? Check this out.
BALDWIN (from pre-recorded segment): In 2015. there will be 100 votes cast in Congress by women. Here are three of them. First: Mia Love.
REP. MIA LOVE, (R), UTAH (from victory rally): Many of the naysayers out there said that Utah would never elect a black, Republican, LDS woman to Congress. (audience cheers)
BALDWIN: Her parents emigrated from Haiti. They had all of $10 in her dad's pocket. Here's how she did it: two terms on the city council – eventually, serving as mayor. In 2012, she lost her first try for the House seat. But no one forgot that powerhouse speech Mia Love gave at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
LOVE (from speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention): Mr. President, I'm here to tell you: the American people are awake, and we're not buying what you're selling in 2012.
BALDWIN: She apparently once worked as a flight attendant; reportedly, turned down a Broadway role; and her first date with her husband: the firing range.
Next, Shelly Moore Capito.
REP. SHELLY MOORE CAPITO, (R), WEST VIRGINIA (from victory rally): West Virginia is one of the first tonight; and West Virginia has done it right. (audience cheers)
BALDWIN: With Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller retiring, S.M.C. is in. This is the first time in 56 years that West Virginians have elected a Republican senator – and the first female. She comes from this powerhouse political dynasty of a family in West Virginia. Her father, Arch Moore, served three terms as a Republican governor. She is NRA-endorsed. And, hello, she's from West Virginia – she supports the coal industry.
Did you know she has a degree in zoology from Duke University? And oftentimes, she's joked it's prepared her for her career in politics, because she says she now works in the biggest zoo in America: the U.S. Congress.
SENATOR JONI ERNST, (R), IOWA (from political ad): I'm Joanie Ernst.
BALDWIN: She is the first female senator elected from the State of Iowa, and the first female combat veteran ever elected to the U.S. Senate.
ERNST (from victory rally): Well, Iowa, we did it! We did it! (audience cheers and applauds)
BALDWIN: So how did she do it? She went viral.
ERNST: I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. So when I get to Washington, I'll know how to cut pork.
BALDWIN: So what's this mother, soldier, leader about? Yes to personhood; open to birth control; and she is gun toting. She says she has a beautiful little Smith and Wesson nine millimeter, and it goes with her everywhere. (clip of Ernst shooting a handgun)
Oh, and don't forget about that laugh. Some people call it contagious; other people have likened it to this. (clip of Cruella De Vil from the Disney animated movie "101 Dalmations," followed by a clip of Ernst laughing at her victory rally)