By Philip Elliott
WASHINGTON – Out-of-state groups on Monday continued pouring money into Mississippi’s Republican primary, criticizing Sen. Thad Cochran for staying in office too long. The six-term lawmaker responded with his own ads against challenger Chris McDaniel.
The new wave of ads suggest Cochran could face trouble in his June 3 primary, and that McDaniel, a state senator, may be emerging as the best shot for Tea Party-aligned groups to unseat an incumbent Republican in a primary this year.
“Chris McDaniel is backed by powerful interests that Gov. Haley Barbour calls ‘out-of-state phonies,’” a narrator says in Cochran’s ad. “If Chris McDaniel won’t do anything for Mississippi, why should Mississippians do anything for Chris McDaniel?”
That line of criticism borrows from comments McDaniel made at the University of Mississippi in February: “I’m not going to do anything for you. I’m going to get the government off your back, then I’m going to let you do it for yourself.”
Mississippi consistently receives more federal dollars from Washington than it pays in taxes. So McDaniel quickly tried to back away from that rhetoric promising little government help for Mississippi voters.
To help McDaniel, Senate Conservatives Action announced ads that were to start running today. Those ads quote McDaniel promising to eliminate the United States’ debt and repeal Democrats’ national health care law.
“Every compromise conservatives reach, the liberals always win. That’s not compromise. That’s called surrender,” McDaniel says in the ads.
Separate 30-second ads from the anti-tax Club for Growth link Cochran to former President Jimmy Carter, noting the lawmaker voted to help create the modern Department of Education. The ad also says Cochran voted to help George H.W. Bush break his “no-new-taxes” pledge. And the ad also features criticism for voting to increase the nation’s borrowing limit. All are moves that Tea Party Republicans see as unacceptable.
Ads from Senate Conservatives Action, the super PAC of the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Club for Growth are on television across the state.