Good people don’t shrink from defeat, but use the experience as a weapon for future endeavors.
Colonel Rob Maness ran for the United States senate in 2014. Despite backing from the likes of Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, and Phillis Schlafly, he was defeated.
Louisiana has what’s known as a “jungle primary,” in which all candidates appear on a single ballot regardless of party affiliation, and if no single candidate cracks 50%, the top two enter into a runoff election. Maness came in third.
After losing the senate race, Maness created GatorPAC, a political action committee dedicated to giving citizens the “teeth and the tools” necessary to “take our government back from the politicians.”
But Maness isn’t finished with Washington just yet; he announced a second run for the United States Senate January 7.
Maness has received a broad spectrum of endorsements, including:
Congressman Tom Tancredo, Dr. James Dobson, Ben Carson, Mary Matalin, Sarah Palin, Lt. Governor of Louisiana Billy Nungesser, UFC fighter and host of History Channel’s “Hunting Hitler” Tim Kennedy, and a host of Tea Party PACs.
I had the privilege of speaking with Col. Maness this week. Here’s what he had to say.
What he’s been doing since 2014
“Well, we spent the last year operating a Super PAC called GatorPAC. When I lost in 2014, I got my team behind Bill Cassidy and unified the Republicans and conservatives to defeat Mary Landrieu–a statewide powerhouse–in a landslide.”
Maness says GatorPAC’s focus was to help get conservatives elected in Louisiana, and it worked, with Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, as well as Attorney General Jeff Landry, and several senators and representatives in the legislature benefiting from GatorPAC’s activism.
Why he’s running again
“We have a very active statewide organization thanks in part to GatorPAC. We still have the same situation in the country–although it’s worse in my opinion. The folks we’re sending to Washington continue to not do what they said they were going to do on the campaign trail.
They’re not protecting the Constitution of the United States, and I want my grandchildren to inherit a United States of America, not some other form of government that I don’t recognize.”
Why he’s the best candidate
“America is weaker than I’ve seen it in my lifetime, and I served in the Air Force for 32 years. When America’s weak, and not leading, the world’s on fire. The senate is designed to be part of the foreign policy and national and international security strategy policy-making body, and we need senators with actual education and real-world experience in those areas. I’m the only candidate who has that experience.”
Maness went on to note his education and job experience. He graduated from Harvard, and the U.S. Navy War College, he worked in the Pentagon as a nuclear operations officer advising the chairman of the joint chiefs, the secretary of defense, and the president. He’s also an expert in NATO operations. Above all, he was in the Pentagon on 9/11 when it was attacked, and was asked to help plan the war on terror. He then fought in the war he helped plan.
“I’m determined to be a senator who’s a check on the runaway executive branch, specifically in the foreign policy arena, and I have the experience to do that.
I’ve learned my leadership in the real world, giving orders in combat, and having to see the outcome of those orders, regardless of whether or not they were successful, or if someone was injured or killed. I had to face the outcome of those orders, and continue to make decisions.”
Maness also mentioned our porous immigration system, saying he understands what it’s like to be attacked by those who have abused the system. The attack on the Pentagon on 9/11 was carried out by men who had overstayed their visas.
With regards to the economy
“I’ve actually managed a $245 million taxpayer-funded budget, and successfully been able to reduce expenditures, and make actual cuts. I know how to cut budgets, but I also know where to spend the money so we can be the strongest.”
On foreign policy
“We can’t be wasting the sacrifices of America’s sons and daughters in places we should be. We’ve gotten very interventionist in the last few years, and I think it’s made a huge mess of the world.”
He specifically spoke about how the U.S. pulled out of Iraq too soon, and how the toppling of Gaddafi was a huge mistake, both of which led to the rise of ISIS.
He’s a Constitutionalist
“I bring the best of both worlds of a Trump and a Cruz together. I’m a successful leader, but I’m also an outsider, and I have real-world national security education and experience. I’m a Constitutionalist.
The government is too vast, and it’s doing things it shouldn’t be doing. The Department of Education should be eliminated as fast as possible, and the power should be returned to the states. That’s where the decisions really need to be made on many things.”
I threw Maness an oddball question because it’s an important issue for me. I asked him what his position is on congressional term-limits:
“I’m the only candidate in the race that has signed the U.S. Term Limit Pledge. Senators should be limited to two terms, and House members limited to three terms. It’s one of the ways we can get control of the budget, and get corporate welfare and crony capitalism out of the budget system.”
Maness is also concerned about privacy rights
“After seeing things like the Patriot Act, and the [growing] TSA, and all of these things that we’ve created to try to get our arms around the threat of terrorism, I’ve realized how precious our liberties are.
We need to fight to regain the liberties that have been taken away from the America people under the Patriot Act, and unreasonable search and seizure. I mean, my iPhone is the 21st century version of your papers and effects. The Fourth Amendment was designed to protect that.”
His final vision
“I realized a few years after leaving the military that the folks in Washington aren’t really concerned about protecting the Constitution. The fight is between those in Washington wanting to maintain their power and those people like me and the top two front-runners in the GOP presidential election that want to go to Washington, and change things beyond just tinkering with the edges.
Protect the Constitution first, protect freedom first, and security and prosperity will flow from there.”
His campaign video from 2014 is just a relevant and powerful now as it was then:
Maness will be up for election on November 8. He’d have my vote if I lived in Louisiana. He should have yours.