Speed Reads

2014 midterms

Dem Sen. Mary Landrieu: The South hasn't been 'the friendliest place' for blacks

The incumbent Democrat, who is locked in a tight re-election battle with Republican Bill Cassidy, also said that race is a reason President Obama has struggled in Southern states, NBC News reports.

"I'll be very, very honest with you," Landrieu said in an interview with NBC. "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."

Because the South is "more of a conservative place," Landrieu said that women also face challenges in "presenting ourselves."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) called Landrieu's remarks "remarkably divisive," and issued a statement saying: "[Landrieu] appears to be living in a different century. Implied in her comments is the clear suggestion that President Obama and his policies are unpopular in Louisiana because of his ethnicity. That is a major insult by Senator Landrieu to the people of Louisiana and I flatly reject it."