John Kennedy

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, said he will make a decision within two or three weeks on whether he will oppose Gov. John Bel Edwards in the 2019 election.

DENHAM SPRINGS -- U.S. Sen. John Kennedy believes Gov. John Bel Edwards has led Louisiana the wrong direction, but stopped short of saying he would run against him in 2019.

Kennedy made his comments Nov. 8 following a home dedication he attended for a quadriplegic flood victim.

"I consider Gov. Edwards a friend, but we have a fundamental disagreement," the freshman Republican senator told reporters. "He thinks our problem in Louisiana is that we tax too little, but I think our problem is that we spend too much."

Kennedy, a former state treasurer under Bobby Jindal and Gov. Edwards, said he has not yet made a decision on a bid for governor.

He said polls indicate he would win if he ran.

"But it's a little more complicated than that. I enjoy representing Louisiana in the US Senate, and I've had a pretty good start," Kennedy said.

He said he has passed seven bills in the Senate and cosponsored 18 others that passed.

"At the same time, my state is in trouble, and so I'm torn, but I'll do what I think is right for my state, my country and me," Kennedy said.

Kennedy also praised the work of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who stepped down one day after the Nov. 6 elections.

He was not surprised by the resignation, but lashed out at Democrats for what he considered an unceremonious start for acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker.

"They didn't even give the interim time to find the men's room before they started bashing him," Kennedy said.

On his comments about the strong voter interest nationwide in the mid-term election, Sen. Kennedy credited the President and the recent confirmation hearings for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"Some said the President's election was a fluke and that he ran against a weak candidate, but I think this election proved Trump was a true factor," he said. "As for the Kavanugh hearings, I think it angered a lot of Americans ... you're innocent until proven guilty, and not vice versa."

He also took potshots at country singer Willie Nelson and pop music superstar Taylor Swift for their support of Democratic candidates in the mid-term election.

"I have their music on my phone, but I think they were smoking some of Willie's dope when they decided to get involved in politics, and I hope they understand now that the American people can make up their own minds," Kennedy said. "That's the problem with Washington D.C. and Hollywood -- you have many people who are smart, but think they're smarter and more virtuous than the American people.

"They're wrong ... American people don't have time to read Aristotle because they're too busy earning a living, but they can figure it out for themselves," he said. "They don't need insiders in D.C. or Hollywood stars telling them how to live their lives."

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(1) comment


There is a lot I admire about Senator Kennedy. Having worked for him, I know he's a very, very smart man. I disagree with his point that a celebrity should not publicly express a political preference. But then, after Clint Eastwood's empty chair routine at the 2012 convention, I can see why he might not enjoy celebrity participation in the process.

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