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Mary Landrieu Storms Off Radio Interview on Eve of Runoff

By: Fergus Hodgson - @FergHodgson - Dec 6, 2014, 7:28 am

Senator Mary Landrieu’s Friday slot on WGSO New Orleans with Jeff Crouere (11 minutes).

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has been swimming upstream since her poor showing in Louisiana’s jungle primary for reelection. Such has been her desperation, facing an imminent loss in today’s runoff against Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA), she accepted a Friday interview with Tea Party-conservative radio host and critic Jeff Crouere.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) did not take kindly to attention on her decisive support for Obamacare, against the wishes of her electorate. (@MichaelCShort)
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) did not take kindly to attention on her support for Obamacare, against the wishes of her electorate. (@michaelcshort)

Stunned by her late acceptance, after more than a year of rejected invitations, Crouere had her on for the nine o’clock hour (CST) of his morning show Ringside Politics on WGSO 990 AM, based in New Orleans. The anticipation surrounding her appearance saw listeners flood Crouere with dozens of emails and calls to recommend questions for the incumbent.

Right from the outset, however, the interview took a turn for the worse, and it only snowballed from there. Landrieu became so frustrated with the challenging questions that she lost her temper and hung up without even getting through the first segment.

Crouere began by asking her why she had been absent for so long, to which she apologized — albeit awkwardly — and then countered that “I’ve been looking for you as well.”

The first question of substance was on why Landrieu gave a decisive vote in favor of Obamacare, since Crouere sees it as the death knell to her career in the US Senate. After she responded for 50 seconds, acknowledging that the law had flaws but diverting attention to Hurricane Katrina aid, he gently interjected, “well, right,” but he could not get another word in.

“Hold on, Jeff,” she said curtly. “You asked me a question. Let me finish.”

After Crouere then suggested that her loyalty to Obamacare and the president had placed her in a vulnerable position, she let loose, and not in a way likely to score points with the listeners.

“Let me just tell you something. I am really sorry you’re a part of the Tea Party, because they’re taking this country in the wrong direction.”

She then went on to compare Obamacare to Social Security and Medicare, two other fiscal train wrecks that apparently she sees as monumental and admirable. But Crouere countered that it “has killed [her] campaign.”

Landrieu then wanted to know where Crouere went to high school. “The brothers at De La Salle would teach you to read,” she said.

Crouere, however, would not relinquish the point that Obamacare is the president’s signature legislation, the one for which he will be most remembered for. That pushed Landrieu over the top.

“You are smart enough, and the brothers at De La Salle taught you well enough, to know that [is not the case].… Love you man, love your family. Jeff, take care.”

She did accept one more question from Crouere, but it was regarding an allegation of fraudulent votes in her favor, so there was no let up.

“It is such an insult for you and your listeners to claim that black people in the state, or African Americans, cannot cast votes honestly. It’s truly sickening.… You’re repeating it because it makes you just such a happy person.”

At that point she repeated her out-of-context pleasantries and hung up abruptly.

Read the election outcome: “Old Mary Landrieu Dies Hard in US Senate Runoff.”

Fergus Hodgson Fergus Hodgson

Fergus Hodgson was the founding editor in chief of the PanAm Post, up until January 2016, and he now studies finance at Tulane University in Louisiana and Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala. Originally from New Zealand, he has also lived in Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, and the United States. Follow @FergHodgson and his Facebook page.