U.S. Majority Leader and Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is calling on Republicans not to attack each other in the governor’s race. Scalise issued a statement after a group supporting Republican candidate Stephen Waguespack released an attack ad against the perceived front-runner in the race Jeff Landry.
“Well I think it was a warning to the Waguespack campaign that he is not going to tolerate Republicans attacking Republicans,” said political analyst Bernie Pinsonat.
The 30-second ad from Reboot Louisiana alleges Landry, who is the state’s top prosecutor, is responsible for the rise in violent crime. Pinsonat says Scalise issued the statement because he is concerned attacks between Republican candidates could cost the party the governor’s race.
“It wasn’t only a warning to the Waguespack campaign don’t do this, it was also a warning to the other candidates, let’s not make the same mistake we did when the Republicans helped elect John Bel Edwards,” said Pinsonat.
Political observers believe the mudslinging between Republican candidates in the 2015 governor’s race led to voters electing Democrat John Bel Edwards over Republican David Vitter.
In his statement, Scalise says Waguespack should denounce this negative ad and Reboot Louisiana PAC should take down this attack ad immediately. Pinsonat says it will be interesting to see how Waguespack and his supporting PAC will react.
“Having Steve Scalise attacking you publicly it’s not something that normally would work out for the Waguespack campaign, I think it’s something they would avoid,” said Pinsonat.
Here’s is Scalise’s entire statement.
“Louisiana must elect a bold conservative as our next Governor in order to move our state forward and in a positive direction. The best way for a Republican to regain the Governor’s mansion is by laying out their vision for the state’s future and building momentum by way of inspiring others to join in their cause.
While the temptation always exists, Republicans attacking other Republicans is the only way we can lose this November’s election. Stephen Waguespack is a friend, but those supporting his campaign and outside efforts are hurting his chances—and Louisiana Republicans—by breaking Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment in launching negative attacks against the Republican front-runner, Jeff Landry.
We must learn from the mistakes of the 2015 and 2019 governor’s races, where Republican infighting ultimately squandered our opportunities to win the Governor’s mansion. As we work towards getting Louisiana back on track in 2023, Republican candidates must focus on their positive vision for our state, not instigating intra-party attacks and provoking defensive retaliation. Ultimately, this unproductive discourse only benefits those who want to keep our state on the wrong track.
Stephen Waguespack should denounce this negative ad and Reboot Louisiana PAC should take down this attack ad immediately.”
Here’s the Reboot Louisiana commercial: