This post has been updated.
Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, a Republican candidate for an open House seat, is not happy with the nonpartisan data site Cook Political Report.
Whitney sat down for an interview with Cook Political’s David Wasserman (pictured above with Whitney) to discuss her race and the chance of her winning the seat.
Wasserman on Wednesday called Whitney “frightening” in a description of the interview in the Washington Post.
“As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I’ve personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning,” he wrote. “But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney.”
Wasserman noted that Whitney relishes her nickname, “Palin of the South,” and released a controversial political ad in which she declares that global warming is a “hoax.”
“[I]t’s not unreasonable to expect candidates to explain how they arrived at their positions, and when I pressed Whitney repeatedly for the source of her claim that the earth is getting colder, she froze and was unable to cite a single scientist, journal or news source to back up her beliefs,” Wasserman wrote about the interview.
According to Wasserman, Whitney left the interview abruptly after a question about Obama’s birthplace, accusing Wasserman of conducting a “Palin-style interview.” (Wasserman is likely referring to Katie Couric’s 2008 interview with Sarah Palin, who couldn’t name a single newspaper when asked.)
After Wasserman wrote up the interview for the Cook Political Report, which is behind a paywall, Whitney on Friday bashed him and Cook Political Report on Facebook. She said that she sat through several questions after the “birther” one before leaving.
“What The Cook Political Report printed about me is an outright lie,” Whitney wrote in a Friday Facebook post. “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.”
“That’s the real #WarOnWomen,” she concluded.
After Whitney lashed out at Wasserman on Facebook and Twitter on Friday, he told The Advocate that he has interviewed many conservative women who have impressed him. He says he asks similar questions to all candidates.
Wasserman told TPM Thursday that it was not critiquing Whitney, but that it’s his job to “assess a candidate’s readiness for a tough race.”
“Michele Bachmann was actually from that standpoint one of the best candidates that’s ever come in for an interview,” he said. “It’s fair to say that Ms. Whitney did not impress us.”
Image via Lenar Whitney on Facebook
- Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
- Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism