James Gill: Edwards not going down without a fight _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by Travis Spradling -- In this March 17, 2014, file photo, former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards speaks at the Baton Rouge Press Club in Baton Rouge, La. With enthusiasm and vigor that belie his 87 years, Edwards is running for Congress in south Louisiana in what would be his second political resurrection.

Edwin Edwards isn’t buying into Sen. Mary Landrieu’s comments that President Obama struggles in the South because of his race.

Louisiana is “a rather liberal state in racial nations and there always will be some people who have problem with people of a different race — Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, what have you,” but “by and large people will accept a person based upon his policies and performance,” Edwards told the political blog, Talking Points Memo.

Last Thursday, Landrieu drew criticism for telling NBC News that the South “has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.”

“I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader,” she said.

Edwards concedes there’s a faction who don’t like Obama because he’s black, but he tells TPM, “I don’t think that’s a significant amount.”

Landrieu is locked in a tight re-election battle with Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, and is targeted by Republicans nationally in their efforts to retake control of the Senate. Republican and tea-party favorite Rob Maness is polling in a distant third place.

Edwards, who served nearly nine years in federal prison on charges that stemmed from a scheme involving riverboat casino licenses, is widely seen as the Democrats’ best hope in the crowded race for the seat currently held by Cassidy.

Election Day is Tuesday.

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