The New Republic blasted for tweet using Joni Ernst's abusive husband to slam senator

Several GOP senators expressed solidarity toward their colleague from the 'hit piece'

The liberal magazine The New Republic was widely condemned over a tweet invoking Joni Ernst's abusive husband in write a critical piece on the Iowa senator.

In a piece titled "Behind Every Republican Man," contributing writer Kerry Howley delved into Ernst's chances at winning reelection in November and how her gender plays a role.

"What does it mean to be a Republican woman running for office in 2020? There are currently 13 Republican women in the House. There are 16 Republican House members named 'Michael' or 'Mike.' More Republican women than ever before are running, but they face such improbable paths to elected office that in November their numbers will improve only slightly, if at all. This is largely because the party apparatus does not support them," Howley described an uphill battle for Ernst.

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In the profile piece that outlined Ernst's journey as a prominent Republican, Howley addresses Ernst's past domestic abuse, writing "While she was working, Ernst came to believe, her husband was having an affair with their daughter’s babysitter. Standing on the landing of the stairs in their home in Red Oak, she confronted him, at which point, according to Joni, [her husband] grabbed her neck, threw her down, and pounded her head into the floor."

Howley later suggested that the Iowa senator "would learn"  how to talk about her abusive marriage, even by "the vocabulary and the syntax" since "it was inconvenient that she was constantly called upon to defend Donald Trump."

"Her strategy, in dealing with a party leader accused by 25 separate women of sexual misconduct, was sometimes to distance herself verbally, but rarely to attract attention to herself by drawing a clear line of disagreement. She was careful," Howley wrote.

However, a tweet from The New Republic summarized Howley's piece with the following: "Joni Ernst survived an abusive husband. Her Senate career may not survive an abusive president."

The tweet, which has since been deleted, faced fierce backlash.

"This is disgusting. Have some decency and delete this trash," Ernst's Senate colleague Tom Cotton, R-Ark., reacted.

"A new vile sexist low smear. You are not fit to lick @joniernst combat boots," Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY., told The New Republic.

"What a disgusting, vile, sexist headline. Way to victim shame," Meghan McCain said.

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"I swear you can be critical of Joni Ernst and other people in power without framing it this way. Senator Ernst faced emotional and physical abuse from her ex-husband. I don't think using her trauma this way is helpful or fair," journalist Yashar Ali wrote.

"Who on earth would think this tweet is OK?" CBS News correspondent Kathryn Watson asked.

"Things one absolutely should not do in a tweet: draw a comparison between an actual abusive situation the subject of your piece survived and ... pretty much anything else," Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez tweeted.

Several of Ernst's GOP colleagues went on to blast the "hit piece" itself.

"This is disgusting.@joniernst is a class act & a leader. She’s a vet, a mother, a Senator. They wouldn’t have written this if she was a Dem. It’s sexist, vile hit jobs that make strong, conservative women refuse to run for office. I have her back," Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., wrote.

"This article is offensive, disgusting, and just plain mean. Everyone involved in this “journalistic piece” should be ashamed of themselves. @JoniErnst is a powerful, strong, and dynamic Conservative leader. It is an honor to serve beside her," Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said.

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"I read the @newrepublic story about my friend and colleague @SenJoniErnst. She’s a survivor, a fighter, and one of the hardest working senators I know. All women, including conservative women, deserve better than this cynical and arrogant article," Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, tweeted.

"This disgusting hit piece says far more about the state of our media than it does about my friend @JoniErnst. Joni is a veteran, a mother, and a strong conservative female—and like me, she could care less about what the fake news has to say about her," Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., wrote.

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The New Republic did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

The magazine appeared to not publicly address the deleted tweet or offer an apology to the senator.