Exclusive — Eddie Rispone on Leftist Democrat John Bel Edwards: ‘We Need Someone Who’s Not Beholden to Special Interests’

MONROE, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 06: Louisiana Republican candidate for governor, Eddie Rispone (R) speaks alongside U.S. President Donald Trump during a "Keep America Great" rally at the Monroe Civic Center on November 06, 2019 in Monroe, Louisiana. President Trump headlined the rally to support Louisiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone, …
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Businessman Eddie Rispone, the GOP candidate for governor in Louisiana in next Saturday’s runoff election, ripped leftist Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards as “beholden” to “trial lawyers” in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News this weekend.

Appearing on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel ahead of the all-important LSU-versus-Alabama football game that President Donald Trump is attending, Rispone laid out his case for why Louisiana should reject Edwards’ leftist Democrat vision and instead install him—a conservative businessman, like Trump—as the state’s next governor.

“It’s extraordinarily important. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn our state around,” Rispone said. “We’re last—we’ve been last now for several years. The governor doesn’t want to admit that, but we’ve been ranked last for the last three years in a row. It’s an opportunity we can’t pass up. We’re going to have a conservative House and a conservative Senate, and what we need is a governor who’s conservative—an outsider, someone with serious business skills. Just as important, we need someone who’s not beholden to special interests. This governor is completely beholden to the trial lawyers. He was one. He can’t get anything done. He’s killing thousands of jobs, literally thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industry. We have the second highest auto insurance in the country. It’s killing jobs, and it’s also just really hurting the middle and lower income families—they can’t pay the premiums. You have to make choices between rent and utilities and things of that nature. This just has to be done, it’s an opportunity we can’t pass up.”

President Trump has already done two rallies with Rispone—one before the Oct. 12 runoff where Rispone edged out Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) to face off against the Democrat Edwards in the Nov. 16 runoff, and the other last week during early voting—and he is planning lots more to help Rispone. The topic is almost certainly going to come up during Trump’s appearance at the LSU-Alabama game on Saturday afternoon, and Trump is likely headed back to Louisiana next week for another rally with Rispone.

Rispone said that Edwards, through his Democrat policies, has been blocking the people of Louisiana from experiencing the full effect of the booming Trump economy because the state has been struggling under Edwards. Just this weekend, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal blasted Edwards for protecting trial lawyers like Edwards was before he was elected—something that’s been crushing economic opportunity in the state.

“The president does really care about Louisiana and he’s been here, that’s why he’s down here. He does want us to share in what I call the Trump wave,” Rispone said. “Our economy is the slowest in the south. I don’t want to go through the litany of those things, but you asked what I’m going to do—immediately after I’m sworn in, I’m going to let the job creators know that we have someone who knows how to create jobs and has worked with job creators for 40 years and bring those jobs back but keep the jobs we have here. Our governor and his trial lawyer friends are killing thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industry alone. Twenty thousand jobs have left here, and we’ve had over 70,000 citizens leave our state.”

If and when he is sworn in as governor, Rispone said, he’s going to let industry know there’s a “different sheriff in town” who will stand up for jobs and the state’s economy against special interests.

“So, immediately, I’m going to let the oil and gas industry know they’ve got a different sheriff in town, someone who’s going to go after these trial lawyers who are killing these thousands of jobs,” Rispone said. “I’m not beholden to trial lawyers like he is. And we’re going to fix this insurance that’s killing thousands of jobs as well as costing our citizens a tax. I mean they’re paying a thousand to two thousand dollars a year more, and it’s really hurting the lower and middle income families. Immediately, we’re going to go after this lawsuit abuse and fix that, and let them know we have a governor who understands job creation and is going to work for them to create jobs for our citizens. We should be number one in the south when it comes to jobs and opportunities, and we are last. I use this analogy: If LSU was last in the SEC, we’d fire everyone from the president of the university down to the poor water boy. It’s time we do the same thing in our state government. We’re going to have a very conservative House and Senate, we need someone in the governor’s seat who can work with them and move our state forward. That’s very simple.”

Rispone added that he considers this trial lawyer “abuse” to be a force “destroying” opportunity for hardworking families in Louisiana.

“It’s not only blocking [economic success],” Rispone said. “They’re destroying it. This lawsuit abuse, I’m telling you, has driven out thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industry and cost us to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues because we’re not getting the oil and gas out of the ground.”

Rispone, a successful businessman who’s hired thousands of people over his career, said he considers this election to be like a “job interview.”

“You mentioned something earlier comparing us. This is a job interview,” Rispone said. “We have a $30 billion plus operation here in the state government. We have a liberal, tax-and-spend trial lawyer as our CEO. It’s time to get someone who understands how to be a CEO, someone with serious business skills, and someone who knows how to recruit talented people. Someone who can get a plan together. Someone who can make it accountable, and understands all these things. It’s time to do something different. He keeps appointing these political cronies over at these agencies, and they’re not functioning like they should. They’re not giving the citizens what they pay for. So, it’s very easy: Just look at it like a resume. See which one you want as your CEO of a $30 billion operation—it’s someone who’s not beholden to these special interests, and it’s certainly not someone who’s beholden to these trial lawyers who are killing thousands of jobs. I think it’s a very simple observation to make.”

On top of all of Edwards’ radical leftist policies standing in the way of economic success, Rispone said, he is “one of them”—a card-carrying member of the institutional left and hard-left wing of the Democrat Party.

“He was a super delegate for Hillary Clinton, right off the bat,” Rispone said of Edwards. “Then, what did he do? He allows New Orleans to be a sanctuary city. He does—he says it’s not, but they have a protest against ICE and he supports it and didn’t come out against it. We all know that sanctuary cities encourage illegal immigration and we know we have crisis with illegal immigration and he just sits there and allows that to happen—and then when they protest ICE, he didn’t say a word. Sanctuary cities encourage illegal immigration and it’s a threat to our safety and it eats up our hard-earned tax dollars. These people, he paid over $16 million in benefits to illegal immigrants. This guy is a liberal. Believe me, when it comes time next year to endorse whoever the idiot running against—the lunatic, the leftist, socialist running against our president, he’s going to endorse them. He is one of them. Then, on top of that, he’s taking millions of dollars from all these socialist Democrats from around the country—millions—and he’s going to say he’s not one of them? Go tell somebody else that.”

As governor, if he is elected, Rispone said he will stop the taxpayer-funded welfare payments to illegal aliens and he will work to pass a law with the legislature to ban sanctuary cities like New Orleans in the state—a law that every other state in the south has passed except for Louisiana because Edwards blocked the efforts to pass it.

“It’s very simple. Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas all have laws that if a city within the state does not cooperate with the immigration laws, they cut off state funding to that city,” Rispone said. “They’ve passed the laws. What they all have in common is a Republican governor. Our governor helped kill a bill that we tried to pass in a session, I don’t know which one it was in the previous session, but we will have the same law. He supports sanctuary cities. He’s a liberal. He’s a radical liberal who tries to project that he’s not. He cozies up to the president but then he’s going to support whoever runs against this president, whichever liberal. He says he’s not tied to the national party, but then he takes millions of their dollars to run for governor. Between the trial lawyers and the liberal Democrats, they have given him over $10 million for this campaign. Don’t tell me he’s not a liberal. He’s completely beholden to them and he’s one of them.”

Edwards has also brought in senior former Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign staff to run his campaign, used robocalls from former President Barack Obama—who may be appearing in Louisiana for him in the home stretch—and associated with people like House Financial Services committee chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

“He keeps doing that, and tries to get it out, but then when he’s caught on it he says ‘oh no, I didn’t do that,’” Rispone said when asked about Edwards’ association with such Democrats. “It’s just like taxes. He had several special sessions to raise our taxes $5 billion. Thank God we fought him through seven special sessions—it would have been $10 billion. But he’s going to say that was a bipartisan situation. He sent letters to the elderly and the nursing homes, very confusing threatening letters that they would be kicked out of the nursing homes if we didn’t raise taxes. That’s the kind of guy this is. It’s all about the fear mongering tactics to raise taxes. This is a typical, typical, liberal tax-and-spend playbook. Fear monger, fear monger, fear monger, fear monger, make promises and then once you get elected do nothing to make the state better. That’s the way he’s been doing it.”

What’s more, Edwards released a whole bunch of career criminals—including several violent ones—from prison.

“The whole process he went through, he wasn’t interested in lowering the recidivism rate,” Rispone said. “He was interested in getting as many people out of there so he could say he lowered the number incarcerated. He just rode it out terribly so. But the telling thing, on top of that, he had over 200 pardons and over 100 of those were violent criminals—16 of them were murderers, two of them were child molesters, and one of them was a rapist. One of those murderers he let out, the daughter of the victim had sent him a letter requesting that he do not do that—he never responded to her. He never even reached out to the family of the victim. On the night of the debate, he kept denying it and saying ‘I didn’t do that, I didn’t do that.’ It’s a fact. Sixteen murderers, two child molesters, and a rapist. He pardoned those, and got them out of prison. You can’t deny that. That’s what he is, he’s a liberal.”



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