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Cassidy Defends Liberal Record #lasen

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We now have the first signs of a competitive contest developing in Louisiana between U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness (R-LA). In a story published by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Cassidy defends his liberal record and shows why he is not the ideal candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu.

Here's the exchange between the Maness and Cassidy camps:
[Maness's] campaign staff was asked why Maness considers Cassidy insufficiently conservative. They replied with recent comments from the Senate Conservative Fund that criticized Cassidy, a physician, for a "dismal 63 percent conservative rating from the Heritage Action for America and his votes to increase the debt limit, bail out the federal highway system and his failure to cut off funding for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare."

Joel DiGrado, Cassidy's campaign manager replied: "Apparently Rob Maness believes that his own Congressman, Steve Scalise, as well as Rep. John Fleming and U.S. Senator David Vitter are not fit to represent Louisiana either. All three voted with Dr. Cassidy in supporting the Vitter-authored Highway Bill, which included the Restore Act language that the entire Louisiana delegation fought together to pass. Scalise and Fleming are in double trouble with Rob Maness as they didn't pass another one of his litmus tests when they joined Bill in supporting the No Budget, No Pay requirements for Congress." That bill included the debt limit extension.

Cassidy's response is disappointing for several reasons.

1) Cassidy is hiding behind other members of the delegation rather than standing on his own two feet. This approach won't work in defeating Mary Landrieu. His name is on the ballot, not Scalise, Fleming, or Vitter.

2) Cassidy is running as a Washington insider, defending the highway policies passed by Congress. Most voters don't trust Washington, and for good reason. The federal highway program, like most everything in Washington, is a complete failure. It should be devolved to the states so they can keep more of their money and escape all of the federal regulations that increase the cost of building roads. Cassidy's message on this issue isn't just liberal, it's also not going to help him defeat Mary Landrieu. If the question put to voters is which candidate has more power to pass laws in Washington and bring home the bacon, Mary Landrieu will likely win. The question needs to be: which candidate will fight the hardest to reduce power in Washington. That's a fight Senator Landrieu will most certainly lose.

3) Cassidy's continued support for suspending the debt limit is remarkable. Rather than simply acknowledging that it was a tough call and saying that he respects the views of those who oppose it, his spokesman attempts to justify the vote by pointing to the "No Budget, No Pay" requirement that was used by House leadership to justify the vote. This is regrettable. The budget resolution is a non-binding blueprint that Congress routinely ignores and many times these budgets call for higher taxes and more spending. In fact, it's likely that if the House-passed budget resolution goes to a conference committee with the Senate, it will be used to raise the debt limit again. Thanks, but no thanks Bill Cassidy. The "No Budget, No Pay" provision does not justify Cassidy's vote for a higher debt limit, and the fact that he's using it as a shield shows that he's part of the problem in Washington.

The Senate Conservatives Fund has not endorsed a candidate in the Louisiana Senate race at this time, but we definitely won't support Bill Cassidy. His record is too liberal and he's going to have a difficult time giving voters a compelling reason to support him over Mary Landrieu. They're both Washington insiders who like big government policies.

Posted By: Matt Hoskins, SCF Executive Director
Category: Senate Races   Tags: LA14  Mary Landrieu  Bill Cassidy  Rob Maness  
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