Louisiana Senate candidate wrestles gator in TV ad

Debate over Rob Maness' TV spot


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 12, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


ROB MANESS, R-LA. SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Louisiana needs a senator that will stand up to the career politicians and the alligators.


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, look at the bright side. You could always wrestle an alligator to impress your boss.

Rob Maness is doing just that to impress voters in Louisiana, happy to wrestle a gator to wrestle away Mary Landrieu's Senate seat.

Now, I know what he is going after here, that he's really not afraid to tackle the tough issues and wrestle with the special interests, but is the way to win votes or just laughs?

To Mr. Maness now, who joins us to defend the ad and the approach.

It's very good to have you. It's very interesting, and it's very novel. But is it going to win you votes?

MANESS: Well, thanks for having me on, Neil.

Of course it's going to win me votes, because the people of Louisiana recognize their culture in that ad. And the alligator is very important to the economy and the culture of Louisiana, but it's also known by those outsiders that know about alligators that -- of an animal that devours everything in its path.

And that's the metaphor that we were going for, and it tells the story of big government politicians and career politicians that are constantly wanting to devour our tax dollars, our liberties, and our freedoms.

CAVUTO: Were you really wrestling an alligator?

MANESS: It was eight feet long about 240 pounds. And I had to be trained how to approach the gator and handle it and behave around the gator.

And it really was an alligator, and my wife said, you smell like alligator, when I got home that...



CAVUTO: Well, listen, I commend your bravery, Colonel, and I don't mean to make light of that. I just want you to cut spending.

So, the fact that you can wrestle an alligator, touche, but I would really rather you -- you address all the spending problems we have. And the two skill sets don't seem to be joined at the hip here.

MANESS: Well, that's -- that's the symbol we're going after, Neil, is that...

CAVUTO: I got you.

MANESS: ... we're going to cut spending and we're going to stand up to the special interests and we're going to stand up to the corporate interests and most of all we're going to stand up to the career politicians and we're going to fight.

And that's why somebody like Sarah Palin wanted to endorse a warrior like Colonel Rob Maness, Air Force retired.

CAVUTO: Right.

MANESS: Because she knows that I'm going to go up to Washington and I'm going to stand next to Ted Cruz and fight.

CAVUTO: Well, wait a minute. Wait. Did she endorse you pre or post the alligator thing?

MANESS: She endorsed me on the same day that the ad came out.

CAVUTO: I got you.

We have been trying to get Senator Landrieu. Hope springs eternal that eventually we will. Have not as of yet. But the alligator ad notwithstanding, what is the big issue in your state? You're trying to make health care front and center?

She's been avoiding it like the plague, and she has gone to say that there are a lot of things she would like -- want to fix with the health care law, but she still thinks it was a good vote and will do more good than we appreciate now.

I think that's the gist of what she is saying. What do you think of that?

MANESS: Well, growing the economy is the number one issue in the state of Louisiana.

Now, the health care law has a lot to do with that, because it's killing 40-hour-a-week jobs. I have been in all 64 parishes in the state in the last six months and I talked to business owners and managers of restaurants and waitstaff and people in the service industries. And those employees are having their hours cut down to 30 hours a week in preparation for the law, even though some of those mechanisms in the law may have been delayed.

The people -- the folks that are -- are handling that issue from a personnel perspective in their different companies are preparing for that law. So people are actually losing hours. Their insurance premiums are going up. Fees on the companies, especially the small business companies, are increasing.

And they're not going to create as many jobs as they would have otherwise.

CAVUTO: All right.

MANESS: So that's the economy economic issue from the ObamaCare perspective. I call it the unaffordable health care act.

But the second big issue from an economy perspective is the oil and gas production industry. You have got to have a senator that is going to be on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, not just every six years during an election year.


MANESS: And Rob Maness is going to stand up for the oil and gas industry, so that the small businesses that support those industries, like in the pipeline business, all around this state, are not dormant, but they're actually working, and their workers are not having to go to places like Texas or North Dakota to find jobs and are staying here.


MANESS: And we need to get that done.

CAVUTO: All right.

MANESS: We need the Keystone pipeline approved now.

CAVUTO: Your pitch is very god. No, your pitch is very good, Colonel, the alligator thing very, very effective. Remind me not to wrestle you, because that would be an ugly scene.

Colonel, thank you again.

And, Senator, you're always welcome here whenever.

MANESS: Thanks, Neil.

Content and Programming Copyright 2014 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.