Sen. McDaniel visits Tupelo

I'm a journalist focused on government, policy, politics and people.
I find what matters and bird dog it like nobody's business.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com Current state senator Chris McDaniel shakes hands with Ruth Hammerman after speaking about his intent to run in the Republican primaries for the U.S. Senate seat Friday afternoon at the Parkgate Prayer Garden.

Lauren Wood | Buy at photos.djournal.com
Current state senator Chris McDaniel shakes hands with Ruth Hammerman after speaking about his intent to run in the Republican primaries for the U.S. Senate seat Friday afternoon at the Parkgate Prayer Garden.

By Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Sen. Chris McDaniel vowed Friday to drive a “stake in the heart” of Obamacare, never vote to increase the nation’s debt ceiling and to decrease federal spending in Mississippi and the rest of the nation if he replaces longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C.

McDaniel’s bus tour announcing his candidacy stopped at the Tupelo-based American Family Association headquarters. A two-term state legislator and attorney from Ellisville, McDaniel, 41, drew contrasts between him and six-term Sen. Cochran, 75, including age, willingness to compromise and desire to provide federal earmarks to Mississippi, one of the nation’s poorest states that receives billions on federal tax dollars annually.

Much of the state GOP’s status quo has traditionally lined up behind Cochran, who has won each election by comfortable margins since seeking the seat in 1978. McDaniel said the incumbent’s tenure doesn’t discourage his seeking the office.

“We’re going to win,” McDaniel said during this stop in Tupelo. “It’s not the establishment’s seat. It’s the people’s seat.”

Cochran has not made public his plans to seek another term but will later this year, said spokesman Chris Gallegos. Before the Senate announced a ban on federal earmarks a few years ago, Cochran was among the top congressional leaders seeking them.

McDaniel’s entry into the race brings to Mississippi a larger debate within the national Republican Party, which has friction between those willing to negotiate deals with Democrats and Tea Party-backed conservatives unwilling to compromise on many key issues, such as Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who led efforts in a partial government shutdown to protest funding of the Affordable Care Act.

McDaniel said he would vote and act in the spirit of Cruz, who hasn’t ruled out more government shutdowns to achieve political goals in the future.

Pointing to his experience in the state Senate and recent endorsements, McDaniel said Cochran isn’t the only establishment candidate. National conservative groups including the Madison Project, the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund have issued support for the challenger.

“Some would say I’m the establishment,” McDaniel said Friday. “I just represent a different side of it.”

robbie.ward@journalinc.com

  • barney fife

    Republicans need to reign in the lunatic fringe.

  • Raider

    I don’t know whether to shake my head at the republican party or laugh because they are getting just what they deserve for joining in the unholy alliance with the T-nuts. I do know that the republican party has been completely undermined by the T-nuts and they are the ones who call the shots for the party now. I believe that the old republican party has a very small window to try and take the party back from the nuts. If the traditional republicans do not act soon and stand up to these T-nuts, it will be all over for them.

    McDaniel is just another T-nut that is ready to go to Washington and blow up the country to prove how much he hates President Obama. It’s time for the traditional republicans to stand up, even in Mississippi.

  • Tommy Barnett

    I find it interesting that you refer to him as a nut. He has been a MS Senator for 6 years, and he is one of the most respected republican representatives in our state legislature. Is it Nathan’s Law that he wrote and passed that you consider nutty? Is it his major role in requiring that our state require an I.D. to vote? Is it his stand against arbitrary imminent domain by our state government? Is it his stance that we need to secure our borders to prevent illegals from continuing to abuse our laws before we consider further weakening our laws on immigration? Is it that he feels that Cochran has played a key roll in increasing our debt by $16 trillion during his term as our U.S. Senator as an issue that needs to be resolved? Is it that our debt increasing by 60% over the last 6 years is a problem in his mind? Is it that he believes that our Constitution is a sacred document that bothers you? Is it that he believes that when the Constitution plainly gives the states more power than the federal government, it should be respected? Is it that he believes that no law, even Obamacare, should have separate requirements for citizens than it does our officials, big business, and unions?

    I don’t know about you, but this does not sound nutty. This sounds like being an American, a conservative, and someone that I will be proud to vote for next June. By the way, I have no tea party affiliations so you can give up calling me a T-Nut. You can call me an American and a proud Mississippian.

    Chris has been rated as one of the top 50 attorneys in our country and graduated at the top of his class at the University of Mississippi School of Law.
    You may want to research someone before you start trying to call them names and marginalize their views.
    It may be you that needs to return to the books and learn how this country was founded and what the Constitution truly states.

    • 1941641

      John McCain refers to you people as “Wacko Birds.” That’s a lot better than “T-Nut” so I use that nickname-Wacko Birds. And, BTW, the Constitution is not a sacred document. it’s a Secular Document. Are you sure you are not a “T-nut””/ Wacko Bird” Radical, Blowhard Dummy?

      • Tommy Barnett

        The definition of sacred: Regarded with great respect and reverence.

        Our representatives should look at the constitution in this regard. It is the law of our land and is what our country is founded upon.

        I find it interesting that instead of making a comment on the many issues he has taken a stand on and trying to explain what is crazy about them you attack the consideration of the constitution being regarded in great respect and reverence as “Wacko Bird”.

        Then you try and attack me with name calling. You don’t want to discuss the issues. You just want to try and get personal.

        I understand why this happens. It is because you cannot defend your views.

        Sad, but typical of liberals.

        • 1941641

          “Regarded with great respect and reverence.”

          That definition fits very well with the word “SECULAR.”
          “Sacred” is a religious word in its basic use. You should know that!

          It’s you that can’t HIDE your religious views from a Liberal. Jesus was a Liberal, plain and simple. “Tea Partyism” is a “Wacko Bird’s Scourge” on America!

    • Guest

      You need to reread his website that you’re quoting all this from. He was rated as one of the top 50 attorneys in MISSISSIPPI, not the country, by the Mississippi Business Journal. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Mississippi Business Journal is probably a pretty conservative publication that wants to draw attention to people they know will be especially business-friendly. As to the claim that he graduated at the top of his class at UM Law, his page says that he graduated cum laude (not magna-next level up from cum laude, or summa-two levels up) and NEAR the top of his class.

  • 1941641

    Chris McDaniel’s Tea Party Extremism Rolls Into Tupelo, MS

    In this news article by Daily Journal’s Robbie Ward, there are two McDaniel’ comments that really got my attention:

    1. …Mc Daniel vowed if elected to “drive a stake in the heart of Obama Care”…

    2. …Mc Daniel said “he would vote and act in the spirit of Ted Cruz”…

    Both comments I consider to be extremely radical and self-serving…not the type an honest, sincere political candidate dedicated to serving the public would dare to make.

    …Mc Daniel’s “bus tour stopped at the Tupelo-Based American Family Association”… Which tells me all I need to know about this TP candidate, the “final nail” so to speak…

    I share this Web comment with you:

    “Imagine for a moment if all traditional Republicans in congress were replaced with Tea Party anarchists. Dont think for a second any negotiating would be possible. There would be blood in the streets…..”

    If it’s any consolation to my readers, I conclude that McDaniel’s chances to unseat Thad Cochran with his extremely radical politics are very near zero. Hallelujah!

  • Guest Person

    How can anyone take McDaniel serious? The Tea Party ideals are so abstract that they cannot be put into a workable policy and they certainly do not want to work with anyone or compromise.

    All they bring to the table is the ability to work up their rabid base and fund raise off of them. They have little understanding about how our goverment works and are the perfect chaos machine for coporations to hamstring the people.