- The Washington Times - Friday, October 31, 2014

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is getting slammed by Republicans for linking President Obama’s difficulty in Louisiana to his race.

Ms. Landrieu told NBC’s Chuck Todd one of the main reasons Mr. Obama is having a hard time in the state is because of his energy policies.

“And number two: I’ll be very, very honest with you. The south has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader,” she said.

“It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves,” Ms. Landrieu continued. “It’s more of a conservative place. So we’ve had to work a little harder on that. But the people trust me, I believe — really they do … trust me to do the right thing for the state.”

Ms. Landrieu’s comments come as some Democrats are making direct, often visceral appeals to black voters, notably in southern states like Georgia, in hopes of energizing the party base ahead of Tuesday’s election.

GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy, one of the candidates challenging Ms. Landrieu, said in response on Fox News: “We’re not racist, we just have common sense.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, called the comments “remarkably divisive,” and Republican Rob Maness, who is also running against Ms. Landrieu, called for an apology.

Polling indicates that the contest is likely headed to a December run-off, which will happen if no candidate eclipses 50 percent on Election Day, and that Mr. Cassidy has an edge over Ms. Landrieu in a head-to-head match-up.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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