After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) shockingly lost his primary to Dave Brat on Tuesday, Retired Col. Rob Maness, the conservative candidate in the Louisiana Senate race, pointed out that Rep. Billy Cassidy’s (R-LA) record on amnesty was much like Cantor’s.
“Congressman Cassidy and Congressman Cantor are two peas in a pod; unable or unwilling to hear the message that their constituents are sending them,” Maness said of one of his opponents in Louisiana’s primary. “Louisianans want more than rhetoric on amnesty and they are tired of politics as usual. I stand against rewarding illegal immigrants for breaking our laws, and I reject Washington’s go-along-to-get-along attitude.”
Numbers USA gave both Cantor and Cassidy C+ grades. They also both voted for the budget compromise brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (R-WA) last year that “granted taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants while slashing veterans’ benefits.” Cassidy and Cantor also have not signed the anti-amnesty pledge from the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) while Maness was one of the first to do so.
Maness has also received the highest grade from Numbers USA as a “True Reformer” and said he would have opposed the Ryan-Murray budget.
Brat used amnesty as a way to paint Cantor as someone who represented elites in Washington instead of voter sin his district, and Maness said that it was critical for Louisianans to be represented by a real leader and “not politicians who are unwilling to challenge the status quo because of how they’ll be perceived on the Washington DC cocktail circuit.”
After Brat’s victory, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has endorsed Maness, urged grassroots conservatives to clear house in Louisiana like they did in Virginia.
Perhaps more importantly, incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (R-LA) has earned a career F grade from Numbers USA and has “voted to allow illegal immigrants to collect welfare benefits while voting to slash veterans’ retirement benefits.” Cassidy has earned a D grade from Numbers USA on challenging the status quo and, like Landrieu, has not signed the anti-amnesty pledge.
Louisiana has a “jungle” primary in which the top two finishers go to a December runoff if nobody receives more than 50% of the vote, and conservatives have pointed out that Landrieu has won general election races against candidates who were unable to present a clear contrast to voters. And amnesty will be another issue where Cassidy, who has actually donated to Landrieu in the past, will have trouble contrasting himself from Landrieu.
Maness, who has the highest grade from Numbers USA, signed the anti-amnesty pledge, and has vowed to never to give illegal aliens welfare benefits while slashing benefits for America’s veterans, would not have a problem boldly differentiating himself from Landrieu. Maness is also up with a new video highlighting his background.