The husband of state Sen. Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, referred to former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton as a "hag" in a 2013 Facebook post.

The post, first reported Monday by Buzzfeed, includes a photo of Clinton under the words "Benghazi won't hurt me..." In sharing the photo with others, Gail R. Ernst, Joni Ernst's husband, writes, "Truly more of a hag now than when she was 1st Lady!"


The post was still up on Gail Ernst's Facebook page as of Monday afternoon. In an e-mail, Joni Ernst campaign adviser Gretchen Hamel said the candidate does not agree with her husband's comments and has expressed that to him.

"Like in all marriages, sometimes a husband and wife don’t agree," said Hamel. "In this case, Joni certainly doesn't agree with the tone of his comments, and she has shared that with him privately. He knows how she feels about showing respect for others, and especially women."

Joni Ernst recently won the GOP nomination by a wide margin, helped by both establishment and tea party figures and groups. Polls show her in a competitive race against Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democratic nominee.

Gail Ernst manages an airport in Red Oak, Iowa.

Updated at 4:43 p.m.