McDaniel, Cochran camp exchange harsh words

Republican primary challenger Chris McDaniel says longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is "one of the biggest spenders in Washington" and is out of touch with Mississippi and its conservative roots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Republican primary challenger Chris McDaniel says longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is “one of the biggest spenders in Washington” and is out of touch with Mississippi and its conservative roots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By Bobby Harrison

Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, reiterated his call Thursday for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran “to come home” and debate him.

McDaniel, who is challenging the six-term incumbent in the June 3 Republican primary, said at a Thursday morning news conference outside the state Capitol that Cochran and his supporters are distorting his record in “attack ads.”

McDaniel took particular exception to the charge leveled by the Cochran campaign and his supporters that he is a trial attorney – a charge that could be particularly damaging in a Republican primary.

“Instead of hiding behind attack ads, Senator Cochran needs to come home and debate me,” said McDaniel.

The news conference highlighted the contentiousness of the race.

After McDaniel’s news conference, Jordan Russell, the Cochran campaign communications director, responded to McDaniel’s criticism.

“Senator Cochran is not going to debate a liar,” Russell said, saying McDaniel was untruthful about his record and Cochran’s record “like a trial attorney does.”



McDaniel said his firm primarily defends businesses that are sued. He said he did represent his first cousin, who suffered an oilfield accident where he was burned over 95 percent of his body. He said the case where Cochran supporters claim he argued that caps on noneconomic damages was unconstitutional was not his case. He said he assisted the lead lawyer in the case after the original “second chair” left the firm.

“I have never cast a vote against tort reform,” McDaniel said. He alleged that in the U.S. Senate, Cochran has cast numerous votes in favor of trial attorneys.

Russell took particular exception to the allegation Cochran has been in Washington so long that he has lost touch with the state and, in effect, was no longer a Mississippian.

“You can pretty much tell he is lying when his mouth is moving,” Russell said about McDaniel at one point.

Russell said people impacted by Hurricane Katrina, the state’s farmers, veterans and universities could attest to how effective Cochran has been in helping them.

“Senator Cochran has worked hard for our state,” Russell said.

McDaniel said there are people throughout the state who have never seen Cochran. He said Cochran should come home himself and level those allegations against him instead of sending Russell.

It was pointed out to McDaniel that he had accused Cochran of lying about the charge he is a trial attorney. McDaniel said the difference is that he did it himself instead of a campaign spokesman doing it.

McDaniel denied that his campaign leaked to the press stories about the travel Cochran has taken. Various news outlets have reported that Cochran has taken more than 30 trips to more than 40 countries over the past 12 years with Kay Webber, a member of his staff. McDaniel did say the number of trips concerned him as a taxpayer.

Cochran’s staff and other members of the congressional delegation have said that it is normal for staffers to accompany senators on such fact-finding trips.

Russell said Cochran was in D.C. right now because the Senate is in session. He said unlike McDaniel, who has been identified as the fifth most truant member of the state Senate, Cochran stays in D.C. to vote on issues impacting Mississippians.

Click video to hear audio

  • gary

    Iv’e never seen or heard of McDaniel til this race . What has he done for Mississippi. Oh by the way how fat is your bank account,

    • Jack Makokov

      A neo-confederate (check out his internet radio and Facebook garbage with a Google search) propped up with tea party cash. Not sure about his bank account, but his backers’ accounts are substantial. For example, when asked if he’d run for senate, McDaniel said he needed to “pray about it” for a few days. The next day he had a brand new campaign RV and did a few press conferences. The voices in his head were a substitute for the burning bush, I guess.

      • haneyps

        The next day? WOW!!! How some people enjoy embellishing the truth. On June 3 Chris McDaniel wins the Primary. Done.

        • 1941641

          On June 4th 2014, McDaniel can wipe his eyes and begin to return to Jackson where he will sit in his assigned seat on the right hand of Gov. Phil Bryant where he truly belongs!

          • haneyps

            How about on June 4 Chris McDaniel took the popular vote in Mississippi and on June 24 he will snatch the Primary right out of the Establishment’s grubby little hands. HA!!!!!

        • Thile

          Actually, it was two days, according to Mississippi AP reporter Patsy Brumfield. She was the one who asked him if he’d run.

      • Barryjohn7714

        Cochran has an RV too. He also went to Ole Miss. back when they were still flying the Rebel Flag. Does that make him an evil confederate racist too? In Biloxi there is the last home and Museum of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Do you think we should burn it down because it commemorates the Confederacy?

      • chewinmule

        That’s more than a weak dated old saw, Alinsky-ite !

    • haneyps

      So you are one of those who is incapable of doing your own research and believe only what you want to believe. You need to be asking how big is Thad’s bank account from all of the millions he has made since he got to Washington. If you are referring to the slandering commercial that refers to the $25 million dollar lawsuit that Chris McDaniel represented then you are a completely clueless voter. Chris McDaniel represented his 1st cousin that is like his brother. His cousin was in a work related accident that was clearly the fault of the company. His cousin was burned over 95% of his body in the accident. His ears, nose and chin melted off as flesh dripped from his body. The doctors gave Chris’ cousin a 128% chance of NOT SURVIVING…but by the Grace of our Lord in Heaven, Billy McDaniel survived. So began his torturous recovery. Chris McDaniel took on and won that lawsuit for his first cousin Billy McDaniel. The only money he took was to cover the firms expenses. He took and won that lawsuit virtually pro bono. THAT is the kind of MAN I want in Washington representing me. So now, given the same circumstances, what would YOU do???

    • Barryjohn7714

      You should not blame McDaniel for your ignorance. He has been fighting for and protecting the freedom of Mississippians for 7 years or so as a Mississippi Senator. Check his voting record. He authored a bill that allows children to pray in school again if they want to. He has authored a number of gun rights bills. McDaniel has voted against almost every Mississippi borrowing bill and has been a major supporter of tort reform. Senator McDaniel is being erroneously called a “Trial Lawyer” because he was lead attorney on one personal injury case which was a favor to his cousin who was burned on 90% of his body. McDaniel was the attorney who filed the case against ObamaCare in federal court on behalf of Governor Phil Bryant.

  • barney fife

    Yet another clown who wants to “fix” Washington through bullying as opposed to working cooperatively with those on the other side of the aisle.
    Thanks for playing, McD, but you’re not the guy for the job.

    • Guest

      All the ads on TV are personal attack ads by Thad Cochran.
      McD’s only commercial brings up votes and his 30+ years in Washington.

      Do you support career politicians?

    • haneyps

      Working cooperatively with the other side? You mean giving away the farm. Dems give up nothing. Cochran and his bunch are giving up everything and fight for nothing. If you like the way he handles business then leave our Republican Party and join the Democrats.

      • barney fife

        I’m a newcomer to this fine state. I sat back & watched for a while before deciding to add my two cents here and there.
        For many years, I was a “card carrying” Republican. Said so on my voter registration.
        Then, after 20+ years of active duty Army, I rejoined the civilian world.
        I tried. I wanted to support the GOP, but they kept getting crazier & crazier. Birth control and the right to choose. Social programs. The separation of Church & State. Favoring the upper-echelons of the income scale while over burdening those not so wealthy.
        The GOP was saying all the wrong things and they’ve not progressed from that. In the top 5 things the GOP doesn’t like Prez Obama, one of those 5 is racially based. In my 6+ decades on this planet, I cannot recall a time when members of the Legislative Branch exhibited such openly hateful, disrespectable behaviors and comments toward the President of the United States. Such conduct is unbecoming an elected official of this great nation.
        Sometimes, reality is just a harsh mistress.
        As such, I proudly count myself amount the liberal crowd.
        Thank you for your support.

        • 1941641

          You nailed it Barney Fife!

    • Barryjohn7714

      Working cooperatively with Democrats is surrender and collusion. Progressive Republicans like Cochran, Reid, McCain and Graham don’t care about out of control spending, they just want to be the ones in charge of it. The only thing they protect is their power and position in the Washington Aristocracy. We have ObamaCare, weaponized IRS, EPA and NSA. The long term Republican Ruling Class Elite in Washington have done ZERO to stop the Obama Regime’s march to Socialism. They have failed and now must go. Cochran has his turn but now the job is different so we need person in the job. Chris McDaniel has super integrity and immense courage. We could not ask for a better person to be our next Senator.

      • Mary Cole

        How broad or how narrow is the line that separates ‘Progressives’ like Cochran, McCain, Graham, Boehner, McConnell and many others and ‘Liberals’ like Reid, Pelosi, Landrieu, and many others from ‘Socialists/Communists’ like those proven to use the same tactics being used and promoted in today’s government…not just in DC, but also in our local city and state government. It’s TIME…it’s time for ‘We the People’ to take back our government and end the Ruling Class Elites regardless of Party affiliation…Party means nothing to them anyway…in the end it’s all about power!

        Chris McDaniel is a man of integrity, a loving husband and family man, a Christian, and he will not go to Washington and turn into ‘another Cochran or McCain or Graham or Boehner or McConnell!

    • chewinmule

      Harry Reid thinks your man is a “nice man …….. a gentleman. Believe me, sport, that ain’t in the plus column. Old “Nuclear” Harry isn’t a bully, naw, he’s just that and a helluva lot more.

  • guest

    I can’t get past he hint of Stewie Griffin in his voice.

    • haneyps

      …and Thad won’t get past the Primary.



    • haneyps

      That’s right. Sleep through the Primary. Cochran’s cronyism has awakened a “Sleeping Giant” in Mississippi.
      Chris McDaniel will defeat Thad Cochran.

      • 1941641

        I will have the greatest of sympathy for you in your upcoming personal disappointment!

        • haneyps

          My only disappointment will be not seeing all of the tears of the Cochran supporters when they finally have to accept defeat.

        • haneyps

          Why are you so concerned about the Republican Primary? You’re a Democrat.

          • 1941641

            As a Democrat, I can see the future of Mississippi shaping up to be an enlightened, progressive, Liberal lifestyle state free of the TPS/Christian Fundies and GOPERs who have kept it on the bottom for years on years!

          • haneyps

            It’s the likes of people like you who hate free enterprise and want to keep the ignorant ignorant and enslaved to welfare. You people say you care about the poor but you really don’t give a damn. The Democrat party should die a slow and painful death…the same misery they have heaped upon the poor.

  • John Switzer

    Wow, it would appear that some of the supposed Republicans on this discussion thread are like field mice: they eat the others that they don’t like. I’m a very proud supporter of Mr. McDaniel and I thank him for being a gentleman, for not calling names, and for pointing out that a big part of the problem in DC is the “go along to get along” attitude of far too many Republicans like Thad Cochran. I hadn’t heard of McDaniel until about three years ago. Since them I’ve watched him and listened to him. He’s a man of great integrity. Those who just keep calling him “the trial lawyer” are hiding behind shadows. Mr. Cochran, debate Mr. McDaniel!

  • Jordan Russell lies in the same sentence he accuses McDaniel to be a liar

    What has McDaniel done? Tort reform, prayer in school, stood up to Haley barbour/eminent domain and successfully stopped it

    You know that stupid law that made over the counter cold medicines become prescription, he voted against that…

    Push for prayer in school and religious freedoms

    Nathan’s law, made penalties stricter for idiots that try to pass school busses while they’re stopped

    Thad Cochran dumps his wife in a nursing home, moves in with his secretary and flies her around the world and country on tax payers dime… An obscene amount too. Can deny it if you want… But you’re stupid or trying to defend this abuse of power if you defend it…

    Has earmarked close to 2 trillion dollars… Which is what I guess so many think he’s so great… To get those ear marks, he’s sold his votes for tax paid abortions

    Supported the implimentation of common core for our state..

    Pushed for relief funds amendments that put millions in several of the barbours pockets

    Most of all… Ignored the people of Mississippi when they wanted to voice their concern… Been that way for the last 15 years or so…

    And if you guys think McDaniel is the one attacking, then again, you’re ignoring the obvious or dumb… He’s using this misfortune of a man that was burned on 95% of his body, and he did it pro bono.. And using it to gain votes!!! Real gentleman there!!

  • haneyps

    Why is Thad Cochran hiding behind a paid voice in Jordan Russell? The only time Cochran came to Mississippi during Katrina was for one photo op and to make sure his “friends” were taken care of. Why has Mr. Cochran on taken care of the corporate farmers such as his buddy over at Sanderson Farms and turned his back on the small independent farmers? Me. Russell, are you saying that our state universities need one more building with Thad Cochran’s name on it? As for the military, we see how much Mr. Cochran cares by the appointment of his long-time buddy Chuck “The Knife” Hagel. He’s cutting the military budget and veteran retirements with a switch blade. Mississippi and the military doesn’t need any more of Thad Cochran’s help. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Even if Chris McDaniel were a trial lawyer, which he most certainly is not, I will take him over Cochran’s cronyism any day. It will be a new day on June 3. Our future will be bright after Chris McDaniel defeats Thad Cochran in the primary and then takes the seat in the November Geneeal Election. So, sit down Jordan Russell.

  • Beau Johnson

    Thad Chochran is the true liar. Thad Cochran and his cronies have done nothing but distort the truth about Chris McDaniel. He is no trial lawyer. Chris has put forward great legislation: Prayer in School, Charter School Bill, Tort Reform. What has Thad Cochran done other than bring more and more federal dollars into the state. He’s just keeping the state of Mississippi suckling at the federal teat. That is what we need more of in Mississippi? Jordan Russell says Mississippi needs common core for the federal money. Not because he wasn’t to improve education, but for the money. And yet Mississippi still ranks at the bottom of the list for education, and at the top for teen pregnancy and STD. Way to go Thad. Why don’t you try doing something that will help the state.
    I’ll stand with a candidate who is proven to fight for the state. Ill vote Chris McDaniel

  • the_rocket

    To everyone calling for this fictional debate, ask yourself: Why would Cochran debate him? Or any other nut that manages to get his name on the primary? He’s the winner. He has absolutely nothing to gain from it and potentially a lot to lose.

    • chewinmule

      You’re right, it wouldn’t look good for Chris to debate an old senile geriatric pawpaw.

  • Paul Brown

    It is truly a shame that Thad allowed his handlers to resort to the lies and attacks throughout the campaign when a public debate could have been handled between 2 gentlemen. The distortion from his camp alienated more voters than they realize but perhaps the Cochran/Barber campaign have been in DC for too long and have adopted the Clintonesque style of politics. By sending Russell out to speak in his stead he just lost that much more credibility. If you won’t respond to constituents correspondence, won’t come home for town hall meetings to address concerns or even show up in your home state for your own campaign then why should we support you?

    In the end I think they will see that voters know how to research and find the truth then vote for the man who is a real conservative, real constitutionalist and loves the state of Mississippi more than gaining permanent placement in DC.

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  • charlie

    46 cents of every dollar the the State of Mississippi spends comes from the
    Federal Government. Ask Mr. McDaniel just what does he consider “wasteful spending”. Mississippi already is at the bottom of the list, and the repubs want to cut even more. Tell what you want to give up.

    • chewinmule

      We owe all that to Thad and the “cronies” who mentored him. And let’s not forget Bennie up there on his delta plantation.

    • haneyps

      Where did you get that statistic??? The statistic IS 46 cents of every dollar the Federal Government spends is borrowed money and Thad wants to continue to borrow and spend more. Now THAT is fact. Typical Cochran supporter who can seem to get their facts straight.

      • 1941641

        We’ll see by the a.m. of June 4th who has got the facts straight and had the facts straight all along: Sen Thad Cochran!!

        • haneyps

          WRONG AGAIN!!!!! HA!!!!!

  • Thile

    That disgusting pro-Cochran ad about McDaniel’s brother highlights the need to wrangle in these PAC’s and special interest groups dumping monies into these campaigns. I’m sure all these posters who only flock to these repub primary stories can agree with that. But they likely support candidates who take money from said groups.

  • Cindy Wood Wilkerson

    Thad Cochran is absolutely out of touch. The MS Tea Party, his constituents, were targeted by the IRS and are part of ongoing litigation. I know that I called Cochran’s office asking his staff to stop the targeting of Americans. He has said TWICE during this election that he does not know much about the tea party and I say he absolutely should know about the tea party because it is his job to protect us from an overreaching Gov.

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    Do you all hear yourself ? Trial lawyer who cares ? School prayer – nobody can stop you from praying wherever you want to pray : likewise they shouldn’t force a student into a situation where they can be ridiculed for ‘praying / or not’ differently than others. Religious freedom – – it’s never been so free as it is today. Those compounding companies need to be regulated, period. And for Heaven’s sake, chastising a family for making that very difficult decision many of us have had to make in having to place a loved one suffering from dementia in a nursing home – – are you kidding me!

    • FrereJocques

      Those who crave power and control over others are very good at creating issues where there are none. Often as a distraction from the REAL issues.

      And one of those issues McDaniel is trying VERY hard to avoid is his past. Check out his comments from when he was on talk radio. Do you REALLY want a neo-Confederate as a Senator?