Politics

Conservative Female Candidate Fires Back After Analyst Calls Her ‘Frightening’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The campaign of a conservative woman running for Congress in Louisiana is firing back after an analyst of the non-partisan Cook Political Report called her “frightening.”

“It’s just liberal elites hating conservative women,” charged Chris Comeaux, the communications director for Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney.

Earlier Wednesday, the Washington Post published an article by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report calling Whitney, “The most frightening candidate I’ve met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls.”

Wasserman, who is the House editor for The Cook Political Report, described in his story how Whitney and her aides abruptly left during an in-person interview in Washington. Wasserman said he had been questioning Whitney on the scientific source of her claims about climate change, and whether she believes President Obama was born in the United States.

“It was the first time in hundreds of Cook Political Report meetings that a candidate has fled the room,” wrote Wasserman, who estimates interviewing 300 congressional candidates throughout his career.

Whitney, who is running as a Republican for the state’s open 6th congressional district seat, found the questioning insulting, her spokesman said.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Comeaux said they “put up with this for about 20 or 30 minutes,” but “at some point, we decide to leave.”

“We were just like, this isn’t productive. You’re just trying to get her to say something stupid.”

The line of questioning, Comeaux said, surprised them, considering the Cook Political Report is know for its race predictions based on data.

“It’s Cook,” Comeaux said. “They’re supposed to analyze the race. They’re supposed to talk about demographics. They’re supposed to talk about geography. They’re supposed to talk about our opposition. But he just jumped her from the beginning. It was just non-stop.”

As for the questions on global warming, Comeaux acknowledged that “she should have been better prepared.” He says she believes Obama was born in America.

But Comeaux says the entire interview felt like a set-up.

“There are interns in the room who are all in their early twenties. And they’re taking notes. And while he’s asking Lenar questions, he’s winking at them, like they’ve all planned this out, he’s got this crazy woman coming in this afternoon, ‘I’m going to really give her a hard interview and make you guys laugh.’”

Comeaux also took issue with how The Washington Post initially featured a photo of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann instead of Whitney in its story.

“When they published the story in the Washington Post, they didn’t show a headshot of Lenar or even a photo of her looking stupid,” Comeaux said. “They showed a picture of Michele Bachmann looking stupid, sitting in the chair, with her legs up, where you can almost see up her skirt. That was the photo they chose for the Lenar Whitney article.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, a photo of Whitney accompanied the story, though the Bachmann photo was still visible in old tweets.

“They are lumping all the conservative women together,” Comeaux said. “It’s just oh, you’re conservative and you’re a woman, we must destroy you.”

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