LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Sen. John Kennedy addressed rumors of a 2019 bid for the Louisiana Governor's seat while commenting on Gov. John Bel Edwards performance in office.
7News spoke with Sen. Kennedy about several topics, one of which is the possibility of his hat being thrown into the Governor's race next year. While he would not confirm his candidacy, he did comment on Gov. Edwards, calling him ineffective.
"(Edwards) let illegal immigrants in, dangerous criminals out, and whines for more money. I just don't see the progress we have made in terms of education, economic development - our labor participation rate is an embarrassment. I don't see what he's done in terms of infrastructure. I don't see what he's done in terms of healthcare. He's spending more money, but I don't see any metrics of our people getting any healthier."
The Louisiana Democratic Party released a statement after Kennedy's interviews Wednesday morning, listing accomplishments they say Edwards has achieved:
"Kennedy is so busy trying to run for higher office that he obviously isn't paying attention to what is happening here in the state. To help him get up to speed, we have compiled a list of facts and translated them into his own language - since he has decidedly become the Senator of one-liners."
- Just yesterday, the Governor announced the success the state has benefited from due to Medicaid expansion. It’s saving lives while growing the economy. More than 470,000 Louisianians have received health coverage under Medicaid expansion and it has created 19,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in economic activity. That’s a win win like the Saints winning the Super Bowl during Mardi Gras.
- The unemployment rate is lower than it's been in ten years and it's steadily dropping like a hot potato out of delicate hands.
- Folks are bringing home more money than they have been: per capita personal income rose 2.9% in 2017. Even a blind squirrel could see this nut!
- Governor Edwards has reached across the aisle to work with the Trump administration to secure $1.2 billion in Louisiana flood funding for infrastructure and flood risk reduction. That’s good news like a short line at your favorite snowball stand in the middle of a summer Saturday.
- Governor Edwards fully funded higher education for the first time in a decade. That’s a smart move if we ever saw one.
Governor Edwards has clearly been extremely effective and we mean no disrespect, but Kennedy hasn't passed a single bill in the Senate, hasn't held a single town hall with constituents, and is already looking to quit the job he couldn't win until his third try. Kennedy's one-liners might be funny, but misinforming the public is no laughing matter."