Joni Ernst made some history last night in Iowa, becoming the first female U.S. Senate nominee by the Republican party in the Hawkeye State. If the state senator wins in November against Rep. Bruce Braley (D), she'll also be the first female senator from Iowa.


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The former National Guard member made waves for her unusual campaign ads, including one in which she rode a motorcycle to a gun range and another where she boasted of her experience castrating hogs.

Ernst, who served a tour in Iraq, won endorsements from many key Republicans, including Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, and won the nomination by a huge margin, securing 56 percent of the vote.

On Outnumbered this afternoon, the hosts discussed whether this is evidence of a growing popularity of female politicians. Brian Kilmeade said for him, it's more about experience than gender.

"You have somebody who goes into Congress with this thing called experience. I know a little bit about this, know a little bit about this, I have a sense of the military. Beyond being a woman or a man, I think she's unbelievably qualified," he said.

Andrea Tantaros pointed out that the biggest takeaway for her is that Ernst had huge success when the "establishment" wing of the GOP united with the Tea Party to support her candidacy.

Watch the discussion above.

Earlier today on Fox and Friends, we heard from Ernst directly, including on her victory, the VA scandal and the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap.

“We had a great primary victory last night. We’re going to continue the momentum. We’re getting started first thing this morning touring with the Governor, Lt. Governor all of our great Republican nominees. We’re going to take Iowa by storm," she said, expressing the opinion that the government needs to "start all over" on the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"I know the sacrifices our men and women face every day. We need to care for them as well as they have cared for us and we have got to do something immediately."

Ernst said she'd like to ask someone in the Obama administration how the Bergdahl swap happened.

"I am relieved that we have a soldier that has been returned into U.S. hands. However, I do have very serious concerns about the precedent this sets," she said.

Watch the interview below.


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