Alligator-wrestling Louisiana Senate candidate gets Palin backing
May 8th, 2014
01:09 PM ET
3 months ago

Alligator-wrestling Louisiana Senate candidate gets Palin backing

(CNN) – Rob Maness, a GOP candidate in the Louisiana Senate race, released his first television ad showing him tying up an alligator - an act he compares to his promise to tackle "career politicians" in Washington.

The retired Air Force colonel also got an endorsement Thursday from conservative firebrand Sarah Palin - another instance this election cycle where the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee threw her support behind the non-establishment GOP candidate.

In the ad, Maness touts his tea-party credentials as he wrangles an alligator.

"Here in Louisiana you learn to be tough. One moment of weakness and the alligators can eat you alive so when I get to Washington, I'll stand up to the big spenders. I'll fight to repeal Obamacare and I'll protect our gun rights," he said in the 30-second spot.

"I'm Rob Maness and I approve this message because Louisiana needs a senator that will stand up to the career politicians and the alligators."

Maness' campaign also released a corresponding radio ad, entitled "Tough" and said the combined ad buy is $50,000.

Maness faces Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in challenging Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu - who's considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate up for re-election this year.

Polls show Maness in the single digits trailing behind Cassidy, the establishment-backed Republican vying to replace Landrieu.

In her endorsement, Palin notes that Maness is an "admitted underdog in the race."

"Having spent his career in uniform, he does not have deep pockets or lobbyist connections to fund his campaign," she said in a statement.

"The GOP establishment has turned to a moderate Congressman who opposed President Reagan in the past and was actually a supporter of Mary Landrieu until recent years. 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). Come on, GOP, is this the best we can do? I say no," Palin said.

Maness is the latest in a slew of tea party, anti-establishment candidates Palin's throw her support behind this year. The list includes Joni Ernst, who's campaigning for an open U.S. Senate seat in Iowa, and Karen Handel in the jam-packed battle for the GOP Senate nomination in Georgia.

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Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina.

Louisiana has no primary and all the candidates appear on the November ballot. If no one cracks 50% of the vote, the top two finishers compete in a runoff in December.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Louisiana • Sarah Palin • Senate
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. jim

    this is too silly!!!! Really

    May 8, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. rs

    And the freak show continues.

    May 8, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    That's a nice resume for a U.S. Representative. "I can hog tie alligators." What other qualifications does he have?

    May 8, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. rs

    Rudy NYC

    That's a nice resume for a U.S. Representative. "I can hog tie alligators." What other qualifications does he have?
    ___________________
    Well, there is that Republican woman running for the House that knows how to castrate pigs. It is as if the GOP is coming up with completely non sequitur skills for running our great nation. Maybe they can find a hat maker or wallpaper hanger in their quiver of brilliance too.

    May 8, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Larry

    Well Rudy, READ HIS BIO. Colonel in the Air Force, Commander of Kirkland Air Force Base, Harvard Kennedy School - what's your qualifications?

    May 8, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. gsmith

    GO REPUBLICANS !!!!!!!!!!!. Beat the crap out of all Democrats they are useless to this Country.

    May 8, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Thomas

    "Here in Louisiana you learn to be tough. One moment of weakness and the alligators can eat you alive so when I get to Washington, I'll stand up to the big spenders. I'll fight to repeal Obamacare and I'll protect our gun rights," he said in the 30-second spot.

    Firebrand Sarah Palin along with the cast of Duck Dentistry and Ted Nugget will be speaking together at the new and improved "Bassomatic" ,kick off event in Mojo City this Saturday .

    MMMMMmm thats some good bass !

    May 8, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Larry

    Well Rudy, READ HIS BIO. Colonel in the Air Force, Commander of Kirkland Air Force Base, Harvard Kennedy School – what's your qualifications?
    ---------------------------
    What bio? The article makes no mention of any of that stuff.

    " "Having spent his career in uniform, he does not have deep pockets or lobbyist connections to fund his campaign," she [Sarah Palin} said in a statement. "

    Am I led to believe that's what Palin meant to say? A "career in uniform" doesn't mean anything special or significant.

    May 8, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Lizzie

    Rudy NYC
    That's a nice resume for a U.S. Representative. "I can hog tie alligators." What other qualifications does he have?
    --but selling your vote to the highest bidder is. (Landrieu)

    May 8, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Lizzie

    Rudy NYC, here it is "Colonel Maness served as an enlisted bomb disposal technician countering terrorism in three assignments before being commissioned and selected for flight training. As a Joint Chiefs of Staff Operations Officer, he was on duty in the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon during the September 11,2001, attack. In the ensuing months, he directly assisted the United States’ national security team with creating, synchronizing, and executing the campaign plan for the global war on terrorism. Rob Maness’s military awards and decorations includes Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster; the Bronze Star; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; the Air Medal; Aerial Achievement Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster; and the Air Force Commendation Medal with six oak leaf clusters. Colonel Maness earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Tampa and Masters Degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the US College of Naval Warfare."
    Guess democrats and liberal LOVE the military if it fits into their narrative.

    May 8, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. ChrisM

    Hahahahahahaha. This is just too funny. And of course wailin palin is there to make things worse.

    May 8, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    One castrates pigs; one pets wagging tailed pigs; one dresses up in baseball (softball?) uniforms; and now we have the wrestling alligator candidate.

    Golly gosh but isn't GOPerville going all out hog wild to impress the folks, or what?

    It's time to rein in the photo-op ego's, GOPers.

    Seriously.

    May 8, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. secular integrity

    Speechless, just speechless.

    May 8, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. secular integrity

    What are his qualifications, you just seen him wrestling an alligator, what more do you want? The sad truth is, many will believe him to do what he says, will they ever learn. Putting more money in the hands of the 1% is the answer to our record inequalities, how hard is that to understand. 1% took in 95% of all wealth, and listen to the gop explain how unfair it would be to ask them to "give" more, here's an idea, pay what your supposed to, and the problem solves itself, but it can't be that simple,,you'll kill all the jobs .

    May 8, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Lizzie

    Rudy NYC, here it is "Colonel Maness served as an enlisted ...."
    Guess democrats and liberal LOVE the military if it fits into their narrative.
    --------------------
    This isn't about a military career, which I do not necessarily consider to be the best qualification. This is about a guy who things being able to hog tie alligators is more important to broadcast to the electorate than his bona fides, or even voicing his positions on relevant issues and current events. He comes across as a macho war monger.

    May 8, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. secular integrity

    What better way to reach your " educated voters", lmao, you can't make this stuff up, priceless!

    May 8, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Warren

    What does his military background have to do with running the country? The last thing I want is the military running the country.. Can you say warmongers....

    May 8, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. secular integrity

    I would vote for the Democrat, but she can't wrestle gators, so what good would she be? Has it become obvious enough for you rwnj? Your party is a joke, not funny though.

    May 8, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |