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The Maness-Cassidy Republican SCC Donnybrook

The Maness-Cassidy Republican SCC Donnybrook
January 18
20:53 2014

Saturday morning’s Republican State Central Committee meeting turned out to be an interesting flashpoint in the internecine battle for primary-election superiority between Rep. Bill Cassidy and Col. Rob Maness – with the latter apparently earning the irritation of a goodly number of the state’s GOP activists.

There were two issues which arose out of the Cassidy-Maness election fight at the meeting. First was Maness’ attempt to give a campaign update to the 200 or so activists in attendance – but since Maness gave a speech at the last SCC meeting in the fall, and this meeting was supposed to be Cassidy’s turn, the party elders didn’t permit him to speak beyond just introducing himself to the crowd.

The Colonel wasn’t very happy about that, but it was a rather minor controversy. What came later has developed into something a bit more pointed.

Because Saturday afternoon, Maness’ camp put out a press release castigating Cassidy for the remarks he made – and several attendees at that meeting took issue with his statements. This was the press release…

Congressman Bill Cassidy’s comments at the Republican State Central Committee meeting in Baton Rouge this morning reveal who he puts his faith in, and who he would beholden to if elected — the political establishment, not the people of Louisiana.

At the RSCC quarterly meeting this morning, Cassidy told political representatives from around the state that it is they, not the people of Louisiana, who will decide who our next U.S. Senator will be.

“This is not surprising, but it is disappointing,” said Senate candidate retired Col. Rob Maness (R-Madisonville).  “The contrast between Congressman Cassidy and myself couldn’t be clearer:  He puts his faith in political machines, while I have my faith in my fellow Louisianans.”

Cassidy also told the RSCC that he doesn’t believe a Republican can win the Senate in a December runoff despite polls showing the contrary.

“Bill Cassidy is a part of the Washington establishment.  As a result, he is woefully out of touch with the sentiments of the people of this state who are fed-up with being told by the political establishment who their representatives will be. I’ve traveled over 40,000 miles in our state since I launched my campaign,” Maness said.  “The only time I see Congressman Cassidy or hear mention of him is at political establishment events. It is to us – not establishment insiders – that I am taking my message of shrinking government and protecting the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Maness said Cassidy’s “we-know-better” attitude that pervades the political class is the same attitude that saddled America with Obamacare, has imposed outrageous infringements on religious liberty, and continues to threaten 2nd Amendment rights.

The release doesn’t have an actual direct quote from Cassidy’s remarks, so it’s hard on its face to come to much of a conclusion whether Maness’ characterization of what the Congressman said is accurate or not.

But there is video of the speech which can give us a decent frame of reference…

There are two elements to this. The first is Maness’ characterization of Cassidy’s statement about who decides the election as evidence of an inside play. That’s a theme of the Maness campaign, and given that his camp wasn’t happy about not getting to speak at the meeting – regardless of the propriety of that or whether Saturday’s event was designated as Cassidy’s turn, etc. – it’s not a shock that he’d say something like that.

But considering Cassidy was speaking in front of a crowd of Republican activists – the kind of people who man phone banks, distribute yard signs, raise money, staff canvass teams and so on – what he’s saying is that if the folks in that room will outwork the Democrats then Mary Landrieu won’t be re-elected. He’s not trying to fix the election in the Republican State Central Committee, and Maness knows that. To play politics with that in order to seek some sort of rhetorical advantage isn’t the worst abuse we’ve ever seen, but it’s not a shining moment either.

And the other element is this business of Cassidy supposedly admitting that he can’t beat Landrieu in a December runoff. That one’s hard to explain away or defend as some sort of spin or misinterpretation. It’s a bit more in-your-face than that, and it’s that characterization which has the GOP leaders we talked to about this kerfuffle Saturday afternoon red-hot.

“That press release was a blatant mischaracterization of Congressman Cassidy’s remarks – full of blatant lies and disputed facts,” said one party official we talked to. “It’s absurd of [Maness' campaign] to call a group of 200 conservative activists and regular, grassroots folks a ‘political machine.’ How can any credible contender for an office like U.S. Senate allow something like that to be put out under their name?”

Yikes.

Watching the video, though, the outrage is a bit understandable. Cassidy really didn’t say what Maness made him out to say.

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12 Comments

  1. Ryan Booth
    Ryan Booth January 19, 12:54

    Rob Maness is a liar. I was there and Cassidy said nothing remotely resembling this pretended remark that he couldn't win in a December runoff. He also said that the people in the room would decide who the next Senator would be because we are the state's leading conservative activists and he couldn't win without help. Those of you supporting Maness should read his accusations and watch the video for yourself. He is totally without integrity.

  2. Brian Trascher
    Brian Trascher January 19, 16:04

    Manes is still in the race? I thought he dropped out after Hollis got in. Times for Maness to exit stage left and let the real republicans duke it out.

  3. James Mickey McCarthy
    James Mickey McCarthy January 19, 18:33

    Maness, the Hoosier carpetbagger, spoke out against Farm Subsidies; however, because one was available, he applied for one – not for Louisiana, but for Indiana – I suppose the reason, he gave, that he had to pay for his wife, so he got the subsidy for his in-laws. This man, who last month claimed travelling 23,000 miles around Louisiana, then 30,000 miles; and now 40,000 miles, still does not understand what Louisiana natives call "a bayou". He voted one time in Louisiana, and he wants to be senator, because he is "conservative". He has an annual salary of $225,000.00 from one of Mary Landrieu's biggest financial contributors. He is a fraud, a liar and the only reason why he is in the race is to take votes away from the legitimate candidate, Dr. Cassidy. Wake up, Louisiana, Tell Mary we don't like the way she became the instrumental vote on Obama's Unaffordable Health Act, which she said, she would vote for again. Even though initially it cancelled the health insurance of 93,000 LOUISIANA residents. Tell her, since she was scared, she would lose, she should not have paid for Maness to get in the race.

  4. Walt Bennetti
    Walt Bennetti January 19, 19:48

    I agree about the Press Release (fortunately for the Maness Campaign, no one but you picked it up) but, the reality is, that was a TERRIBLE speech by Congressman Cassidy. By now, he should be at the top of his game. If that's his best, we're all in trouble. I've listened to it twice and I still don't know what point he was trying to make. Maybe the third time will be the charm but then again, maybe one day I'll be able to shoot lightning bolts out of my eyes.

  5. Candace Reed
    Candace Reed January 19, 23:19

    Amazing, yet another establishment megaphone from Scott McKay AKA Makoidh for Cassidy. Scott never misses a chance to take a shot at Maness in order to support the Republican establishment, "it's my turn" candidate. The public need not wonder why citizen candidates are behind the 8 ball when running against the machine that is the incumbent and the establishment of the Party. Maness' run for Senate is the textbook case to watch – ask Ted Crux about that.

  6. Kermit Hoffpauir
    Kermit Hoffpauir January 20, 14:46

    How does a candidate with endorsements from only DC PAC's cry establishement and NOT sound like a moron?

  7. Kermit Hoffpauir
    Kermit Hoffpauir January 20, 14:53

    Cruz entered the race with $4 million in the bank and the backing of the Bushes. He also was a practiced speaker and debater. There is ZERO comparison between the two.

  8. Sandy McDade
    Sandy McDade January 21, 19:53

    Mr. Cassidy's comment that "You" while pointing at the State Central Committee members will decide who will be the Republican Nominee was well edited out of this speech. I heard the statement myself so did many others. Col Maness was very truthful in his news release and it is a shame that the “someone” decided to edit Mr. Cassidy's speech.

    I would encourage Ryan and others who have called Colonel Maness something other than truthful to look carefully at his service to this country. He is an honorable man with an honorable record and anyone who has served their country as Col. Maness has should be offended by Ryan Booths statements and by this article.

    Ryan, have you served your country on the battlefield? Have you ever put your life and limb on the line for the freedoms that you seem to enjoy everyday? Of course not, you ride a desk just like most of the folks who have attacked him in this article and you should be ashamed! And, if you have ever served your country then you should hang your head for impugning the integrity of a fellow veteran who is highly decorated and highly respected.

    I would also encourage you to ask this question: How many people in the U.S. Senate have ever served in the military and on the battlefield? The decisions that are being made today regarding the military and the protection of this country are simply wrong. Perhaps it is time to put someone in the Senate who actually knows what goes on in the Military and in particular how to support and keep the made promises to those who put their lives on the line every single day.

    Republicans recently made the "deal" to cut Veterans retirement including wounded vets when it came time to play "lets make a deal" with veterans lives and it seems that those who support Mr. Cassidy and the leaders on the RNC have decided to cut them out of the political process as well. Shame on you Ryan! And, being the child of a veteran, I would also say that when you move around all over the country and the world serving in the Military and fighting for America and all that she stands for then you have earned the right to live anywhere you want and to participate in the political process. Col Maness could have settled anywhere he desired. He chose Louisiana.

  9. Sandy McDade
    Sandy McDade January 21, 19:54

    Mr. Cassidy's comment that "You" while pointing at the State Central Committee members will decide who will be the Republican Nominee was well edited out of this speech. I heard the statement myself so did many others. Col Maness was very truthful in his news release and it is a shame that the “someone” decided to edit Mr. Cassidy's speech.

    I would encourage Ryan and others who have called Colonel Maness something other than truthful to look carefully at his service to this country. He is an honorable man with an honorable record and anyone who has served their country as Col. Maness has should be offended by Ryan Booths statements and by this article.

    Ryan, have you served your country on the battlefield? Have you ever put your life and limb on the line for the freedoms that you seem to enjoy everyday? Of course not, you ride a desk just like most of the folks who have attacked him in this article and you should be ashamed! And, if you have ever served your country then you should hang your head for impugning the integrity of a fellow veteran who is highly decorated and highly respected.

    I would also encourage you to ask this question: How many people in the U.S. Senate have ever served in the military and on the battlefield? The decisions that are being made today regarding the military and the protection of this country are simply wrong. Perhaps it is time to put someone in the Senate who actually knows what goes on in the Military and in particular how to support and keep the made promises to those who put their lives on the line every single day.

    Republicans recently made the "deal" to cut Veterans retirement including wounded vets when it came time to play "lets make a deal" with veterans lives and it seems that those who support Mr. Cassidy and the leaders on the RNC have decided to cut them out of the political process as well. Shame on you Ryan! And, being the child of a veteran, I would also say that when you move around all over the country and the world serving in the Military and fighting for America and all that she stands for then you have earned the right to live anywhere you want and to participate in the political process. Col Maness could have settled anywhere he desired. He chose Louisiana.

  10. Sandy McDade
    Sandy McDade January 22, 02:34

    Mr. Cassidy's comment that "You," while pointing at the State Central Committee members, will decide who will be the Republican nominee for Senate against Mary Landrieu was well edited out of this video of his speech. And Ryan Booth’s words were clearly parsed to make them acceptable to the Republican voter. I heard the statement myself and so did many other people. Col. Maness was very truthful in his news release and it is a shame that you and the writer of this article decided to edit Mr. Cassidy's remarks. I don’t have anything against Mr. Cassidy but cannot accept this redacted version of his speech to the RSCC.

    I would encourage Ryan, and anyone else who may have called Colonel Maness anything other than truthful, should look carefully at the Colonel’s many years of service to this country. He is an honorable man with an honorable record. Anyone who has served their country, as Col. Maness has, will be offended by Ryan Booths juvenile statements and by this article.

    Ryan, have you served your country on the battlefield? Have you ever put your life on the line for the freedoms that you enjoy everyday? Of course not, you sit at a desk just like most of the folks who attacked Col. Maness in this article and you should be ashamed of yourself for your untruthful accusations! That you would impugn the integrity of a veteran who is highly decorated, respected and supported by his fellow veterans is embarrassing to the people of this state!

    I would also encourage you to ask yourself this question: How many people in the U.S. Senate have ever served in the military and on the battlefield? The answer is very few. The decisions that are being made today regarding the military and the protection of this country are generally wrong. You should be encouraging the men and women who have served to come home and participate in the political process rather than discouraging them.

    Unfortunately, Congress recently played "lets make a deal" and cut veterans retirement. This embarrassing “deal” would have actually cut benefits to wounded vets if it had not been for the more conservative media speaking out. As it stands now the cut to veteran’s retirement will happen.

    What does it take to keep the all-volunteer military working? Promises made and promises kept would certainly help. Cutting their retirement and other benefits is the wrong way to go but Congress saw it another way. I am ashamed to say that many were Republicans.

    Ryan, I am sure that you want to keep those cushy rights that you so enjoy. Perhaps you should begin appreciating and respecting the people who have kept them available to you.

    Being the child of a veteran, I would also say that when you move around all over the world serving and fighting for America, and all that she stands for, then you have earned the right to live anywhere you want and to participate in the political process. Col Maness could have settled anywhere he desired. He chose to make Louisiana his home. Ryan (and Mr. McCarthy – whoever you are), instead of castigating Col Maness you should be thanking him. His integrity makes you look like the really small person that your remarks indicate you to be.

  11. Sandy McDade
    Sandy McDade January 22, 02:39

    Hollis who is what most people are asking!

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