"The Most Frightening Candidate I've Met in Seven Years of Interviewing Congressional Hopefuls" was the headline on The Washington Post's story about state Rep. Lenar Whitney, R-Houma, who is running for Louisiana's 6th District seat in Congress in a 12-candidate field that includes former Gov. Edwin Edwards on the Democratic side and fellow Republicans state Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, and Garret Graves, former coastal adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal. Whitney, who until now has not been well-known outside Houma, announced her intention to run at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in May.
During an interview last week with the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan Washington D.C. organization that profiles candidates in federal races, the interviewer brought up Whitney's campaign video (in which she declares "global warming is a hoax ... the greatest deception in the history of mankind" and adds, "Naturally, liberals in the lamestream media came unglued and attacked me immediately").
"To change the subject, I asked whether she believed [President Barack] Obama was born in the United States," wrote Cook's David Wasserman. "When she replied that it was a matter of some controversy, her two campaign consultants quickly whisked her out of the room."
Whitney called Wasserman's report an "outright lie" and said, "It was obvious, from the onset of the interview, that Wasserman had planned to jump me simply because I am a conservative woman and liberal shills like Dave Wasserman want to destroy us."
Scott McKay, publisher of the conservative Baton Rouge website The Hayride, denounced Wasserman and sympathized with Whitney, but cautioned, "Her biggest challenge for the immediate future is to close a perceived 'competency gap' between herself and more seasoned policy people in the race like Edwin Edwards, Dan Claitor and Garret Graves. ... Whatever the plan, it had better feature Lenar Whitney The Conservative Policy Wonk from here on in."