Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards (D) hasn’t been shy about his time in prison, and on Wednesday he used the eight years he spent behind bars as an excuse for not voting for President Obama in 2012.
Asked on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown about what would have been a politically problematic vote for him as he runs for Louisiana’s GOP-leaning open 6th District, Edwards said while he probably would’ve cast a ballot for the president, he couldn’t.
“Well, I'm sorry to say,” he answers with a chuckle, “where I was, there were no voting machines. I was in prison.”
Edwards, however, was released from prison in January 2011 after serving eight years of his 10-year sentence for extortion. The 86-year-old went on to star in a short-lived reality television series about him and his third wife, Trina Scott.
Edwards said that his marriage is evidence of his bipartisan bona fides.
“I’m married to a Republican. I have no animus towards Republicans,” he said.
While it’s unclear whether he actually cast that vote, Edwards said he “probably” would’ve voted for Obama because “I, like the rest of the nation, was caught up in his rhetoric and the promise of the bright future that should be available for this country.”
But he added: “I’m very disappointed in what he has done,” citing in particular the fact that construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline hasn’t yet been approved and the healthcare law, which he said he would’ve opposed if he were in Congress at the time of its passage.
Edwards is one of two Democrats and at least seven Republicans vying for the seat, which became open with Rep. Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) decision to challenge Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) this cycle.
While the seat is expected to stay in Republican hands, GOP observers admit Edwards — Louisiana’s longest-serving Democrat, having been elected as governor four times — could potentially make it to a runoff in Louisiana’s jungle primary system, where all candidates are on the ballot, regardless of party.