Landrieu stands by remarks on race
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (D-La.) on Friday stood by her comments suggesting race is a factor in Louisiana voters’ dislike for President Obama, saying “everyone knows this is the truth.”

In a statement late Friday, Landrieu accused Republicans of twisting her words, but stood by her claim that the South has been a difficult environment for African-American and female politicians.

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“The main reason the President has struggled here is because of his energy policies are not in line with the people of Louisiana,” she said in a campaign statement. “We are a pro-drilling, pro-oil, gas state. The offshore moratorium was extremely unpopular and, in my opinion, wholly unwarranted.

But Landrieu also doubled down on a previous point she made in a Thursday interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, where she claimed that the South “has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.”

“In addition, the South has not always been the friendliest or easiest place for African Americans to advance, and it's been a difficult place for women to be recognized as the leaders we are,” her statement continued. 

“Everyone knows this is the truth, and I will continue to speak the truth even as some would twist my words seeking political advantage.”

Her comments Thursday sparked criticism from Republicans, who accused her of being divisive and insulting GOP voters.

The controversy comes with Landrieu locked in a tight race with Rep. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Top Trump advisers discuss GOP need to act on health care at retreat with senators The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-La.) with just days before Tuesday’s midterms.

Cassidy seized on the comments, accusing Landrieu of calling Louisianans “racists.” Her other challenger, retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness demanded that she apologize.

Landrieu’s refusal to back down, though, could bolster her with black and female voters, who will need to turn out in heavy numbers to help the vulnerable senator survive on Tuesday.