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Several hundred people were in attendance Saturday as former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin visited Monroe to campaign for two different candidates.
Palin was in the area on behalf of U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, who is in a runoff against incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. She also encouraged the crowd to support Ralph Abraham, who is in a runoff against Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo for the 5th Congressional District seat that U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, R-Swartz, lost in November.
“You know what Louisiana? The eyes of America are on you,” Palin said. “The message that most of America wants to send to Barack Obama is going to be wrapped up and sent solidly to him when you elect the good Republican.”
“Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, former state Rep. Kay Kellogg Katz, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and retired Col. Rob Maness, who lost in the primary Nov. 4 to Cassidy and Landrieu, attended. “Duck Dynasty” cousin Zach Dasher, who lost in November’s primary to Mayo and Abraham, also made an appearance at the rally held in Hangar 10 at the Monroe Regional Airport.
“The status quo has got to go,” Palin said. “We’re looking at a fundamental transformation of America, and we don’t like it. This was promised us six years ago, and we don’t like it.”
Cassidy took several shots at Landrieu as he closed out the event.
“Do you want a senator who would vote for Obamacare again tomorrow? Or do you want a senator who has voted over 50 times to repeal and replace it?” Cassidy said. “They knew they couldn’t pass Obamacare, so they lied to us. Senator Landrieu said she would vote for that bill again tomorrow.”
Maness took the opportunity to announce that the Tea Party Express, America’s largest tea party organization, endorsed Cassidy and he went after Landrieu.
“You’re in Warhawk country,” Maness said to Palin. “The state that’s going to make the GOP Senate even stronger than it is right now. We’re annually ranked the most pro-life state in America. We claim to our guns and religion. We love our crawfish, our duck hunting, our gators, our music and we’ll find any reason for a festival or a parade.
“In 21 days, Mary Landrieu is going to have a lot more free time to enjoy every single one of them.”
Abraham used his speech to promote Cassidy and gave just a few seconds to his own campaign.
“Bill has a wonderful resume and he will be our next senator,” he said. “These are going to be good days.”
Robertson took his time to criticize out-of-state politicians, the state of America and Robertson’s own critics, while barely mentioning the race for Senate.
“It’s the saddest, most sickening thing I’ve seen,” he said. “It’s pathetic what we (America) have become.”
He went on to talk about the importance of religion and the founding fathers.
“It cannot be emphasized too often that this nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians,” he said. “The sons and the daughters of the Christian God founded this nation.”
Cassidy seemed to endorse Robertson’s views when he took the stage.
“Phil Robertson speaks truth to power,” he said.
Palin garnered several applause breaks as she spoke to the crowd.
“We don’t need a fundamental transformation of America,” she said. “We need a fundamental restoration.”
She also spoke highly of Louisiana.
“I think you’re proudly clinging to our God, your guns and the Constitution,” she said. “I know I am.
“Someone deserving of your vote is … a fighter for Louisiana, not the liberal causes that history shows us will fail.”
Maness criticized Landrieu’s latest television ad.
“She tried to twist Dr. Cassidy’s own words in order to portray him as odd,” he said. “That dog ain’t going to hunt down here in Louisiana.
“What we find truly odd is that you fought harder for Washington, D.C., than you fought for Washington Parish. What we find odd is that you still claim to live on your momma and daddy’s couch. What we find odd about Sen. Landrieu is that you’re still our senator and we’re going to fight hard to change that on Dec. 6.”
Cassidy encouraged voters to turnout for the early vote, saying it was the strategy to beat the “Obama turnout machine.”
“Forty-six percent of people in Louisiana do not know Election Day is Dec. 6,” he said. “We in this room will decide who the next senator is from Louisiana.
“We in this room will put an exclamation mark behind what the rest of the country has said, which is that we reject Barack Obama’s agenda.”
The runoff election will take place Dec. 6.