In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bob Quast, a long-shot independent candidate for the United States Senate in Iowa (who hasn’t even filed an FEC report yet), laughed about his “spoof ad” where he wields both a gun and a knife and threatens criminals that he will “use my glock to blow your balls off.” Quast said the commercial cost him $868 to produce with the help of his neighbor who is a “professional videographer.”
The ad begins with Quast, clad in a yellow IOWA sweatshirt, walking his dog, Mr. Bentley, and pushing his granddaughter in a stroller, running. “Hi, I’m Bob. I am running,” he informs.
He pauses and turns to face the camera like Frank Underwood or the Dramatic Gopher, “running for Iowa’s open seat in the U.S. Senate.”
The 44-year-old Quast is campaigning on term limits and 2nd Amendment rights to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Sen. Tom Harkin (D). He initially intended to run as a Democrat, the Des Moines Register reports, but didn’t get the necessary amount of signatures required to get on the ballot. Quast told The Daily Beast that he has no faith in either party, and joked that he is a DINO (Democrat In Name Only).
The ad goes on to show Quast casually walking down the stairs in his home. “If you are the sexual predator and sociopath who murdered my sister Lynette, and you come to my front door to do harm to my girls,” Quast takes out a gun, “I’m gonna use my glock,” he pauses and turns to smile warmly at the camera, light twinkling on one of his teeth like in an Orbit commercial, “to blow your balls off.”
In late June 1999, Quast’s sister Lynette was brutally murdered by her husband, Thomas Craft, after years of abuse. Her body was dismembered and placed in garbage bags which were scattered across state lines. In 2000, Craft, based on a plea deal, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. In 2011, he moved to a halfway house in Ohio. Quast was not pleased that his sister’s murderer was released, and started a campaign for Lynette’s Law, which would make it a federal crime to cross state lines to conceal a murder.
Quast’s ad swiftly returns to lighter topics. “Please do not confuse me with Iowa’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate,” he says, as he takes out a knife and the ad cuts to footage of a squealing pig. Quast is referring to Joni Ernst, the Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney-endorsed candidate who released an ad, which claimed that because she “grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm” she was prepared to “cut pork” in Washington. Ernst is not the Republican nominee—she is running for the Republican nomination in a competitive primary against radio commentator Sam Clovis, businessman Mark Jacobs, and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker. The presumptive Democratic nominee is Rep. Bruce Braley, a four-term congressman from northeast Iowa.
Quast told The Daily Beast that although “90 percent of the people or more” who see the ad think it is hilarious, his own mother wasn’t so amused. “My mom called me and she said—“ Quast, now adopted a feminine voice—“'now Bob, that didn’t seem very professional,’ I said ‘Mom, did you watch the [Joni Ernst] ‘Squeal’ video?’ but she didn’t like that I used the word ‘balls.’”
The ad, Quast said, was in-line with his life philosophy: “If you don’t use humor in life, you’re gonna cry.”
“Well of course,” the ad was intended to get attention, he said. “Any advertisement, if you’re good at marketing, and I’m very good at marketing—I market very expensive high-end limousines for wedding parties and I’m the most successful guy in town.” Quast, according to LinkedIn, has been President of Custom Limousines & Exotic Cars, Inc. for the last 23 years and 3 months. “If you want to rent a Lamborghini, you can rent a Lamborghini from me.”
Quast told The Daily Beast that he once owned 10 percent of “Jester’s Comedy Club that used to be in downtown Moline,” but, he joked, he was “only now” doing stand-up comedy himself with his campaign. “I will, at any point in my life, other than giving a eulogy, try to make people laugh,” he said.
Told that this campaign ad is probably the greatest ever, Quast was gleeful. “Olivia, I love you! Now, I’m married, so don’t take that the wrong way. Somebody running for the U.S. Senate shouldn’t—I’m not going to kiss you. That would really be bad, because that’s in the news this week, too. But I’m going to tell you I love you. I tell everybody I love them. I love you for your honesty.”