On Thursday in New Orleans, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hailed conservative Louisiana Senate candidate and Retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness as an outsider who will give Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) the help they need to fight the permanent political establishment in Washington, D.C.
At an event with the Tea Party Express, which endorsed Maness this week, Palin, who often backs underfunded candidates if she believes they will be the best person for the job in D.C., said Maness would be the “reinforcement” that conservatives in D.C. need.
In a Facebook post after the event, Palin said that Maness got her “choked up as he articulated so perfectly the need for new leadership to defend America’s exceptionalism.”
“He knows what’s going on in D.C. is unacceptable. It’s dangerous, it’s put us on the wrong path, and he’ll do all he can to stop this fundamental transformation of the nation he and his sons have spent decades protecting,” Palin said.
As Breitbart News noted, when she endorsed Maness, Palin described Maness’s distinguished record of service, which includes his rescue efforts on 9/11 at the Pentagon:
Col. Maness fought for 32 years in uniform upholding his pledge to support and defend our Constitution, and he is ready now to continue that service in the U.S. Senate. A decorated combat veteran, Rob fought to protect our freedoms and liberties and was awarded the Air Medal and Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone. On that fateful day in September 2001, Rob was stationed in the Pentagon when the terrorists attacked. Rob rushed from his office to the crash site and quickly jumped on one of the first teams entering the building in an attempt to save their colleagues. You can hear more of Rob’s inspiring story from that day here.
Palin also contrasted Maness with the more liberal Republican running to replace Landrieu, as Breitbart News reported:
She hailed Maness, who has wrestled an alligator in a campaign commercial, as a “true conservative” for “opposing amnesty, pledging to protect our Second Amendment rights, and promising to defund Obamacare.” And then promptly ripped Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), the Republican establishment’s preferred candidate who “opposed President Reagan in the past and was actually a supporter of Mary Landrieu until recent years.”
In fact, Cassidy has donated thousands of dollars to incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), which will make it tough to run against her in a general election, and Democrat Kathleen Blanco. Cassidy mocked Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Ronald Reagan in the past and openly supported Michael Dukakis. In addition, he campaigned for TARP and now claims he opposes it, which will make it even more difficult for voters in Louisiana to differentiate Cassidy from Landrieu.
“He voted to raise the debt ceiling, was one of 19 Republicans to vote for President Obama’s hate crimes legislation, campaigned in support of the government bailout (but now opposes it), voted for Obamacare Medicare savings (but now opposes them),” Palin wrote of Cassidy. “Come on, GOP, is this the best we can do? I say no. Let’s come together and unite behind conservative warrior Col. Rob Maness – a proven fighter for freedom.”
Tea Party Express Executive Director Taylor Budowich said Palin is “the most powerful voice electing conservatives” and praised Maness as “a fighter” who “puts duty to country above all else.”
“That’s a stark contrast to the professional politicians like Senator Mary Landrieu,” Budowich said. “Landrieu shows no remorse for abandoning the needs of her constituents to peddle Obama’s liberal agenda- like voting yes for Obamacare. Another quality Rob brings is leadership. When he gets to Washington, D.C. he will pave his own trail and do what’s best for the people of Louisiana, not party bosses or special interests- just like Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee.”
Maness has emphasized that he is the “only non-politician running” in the race and that his opponents “are not just Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy, but the status quo in general.”
“Our campaign is about liberty – returning powers to the states and restoring rights for individuals – and trusting that we in Louisiana know best how to run our lives and spend our money,” Maness said.
Louisiana has a “Jungle Primary” on November 4. And if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, the top two will face off in a December runoff.