Gloves off: Thad Cochran calls Chris McDaniel a dangerous extremist

posted at 6:01 pm on June 10, 2014 by Allahpundit

I was wrong. I thought for sure the NRSC and Mississippi’s GOP establishment would back off of McDaniel given that he’s the favorite in the runoff. Cochran might keep campaigning, I figured, but it would be a strictly positive campaign for the next few weeks, probably with no attack on McDaniel harsher than the fact that he’s inexperienced. At a minimum, they’d stay away from blaming him for that nasty harassment of Cochran’s wife inside her nursing home. Why frag a guy whom you’ll probably be fighting behind next month?

As I say, I was wrong.

After months of milquetoast statements and letting surrogates do any campaign trash talking, incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran went on the offensive in Hattiesburg on Tuesday, calling his opponent Chris McDaniel “an extremist” who would hurt Mississippi with indiscriminate cuts to federal spending…

“He said he wouldn’t even vote for disaster assistance for Mississippi,” Cochran said, referring to McDaniel statements early in the race where he demurred on whether he would have supported federal Katrina relief Cochran helped secure. McDaniel later clarified he would have supported the relief spending. One of the Cochran campaign’s earliest ads attempted to make hay over McDaniel’s comments…

“(McDaniel) is trying to indict that kind of power and influence in Washington?” Cochran said. “It would be dangerous to have somebody like him elected.”…

“It’s bizarre people got arrested doing things at the nursing home where my wife is,” Cochran said, “and the jail — people in there after midnight — and these are people working for him and his candidacy? What in the world were they doing up there? I don’t think anybody knows all the answers yet. How many people were involved? What were they up to? I’m just raising the question. I don’t have the answers. But it sure is bizarre, isn’t it? I mean, think about it.”

This is the “jail” incident he mentions, which doesn’t involve a jail, but then that’s not the first time he’s been confused on the trail:

Cochran was asked about the Affordable Care Act, which is wildly unpopular among Mississippi Republicans. He responded, “I think we need to monitor any federal programs that provide services and assistance to people who need help, and this is an example of an important effort by the federal government to help make health care available, accessible, and affordable.”

Everyone understand the significance of this? Even if Cochran ends up losing the runoff, as seems probable given the past week’s polls, he’s still a state institution. His name-recognition is sky high after 35 years in office; all but the most hardcore McDaniel fans will have sympathy for him if he gets beat in a few weeks. To put rhetoric about “dangerous extremists” in his own mouth at this point of the game, knowing that Democrats will bludgeon McDaniel with that soundbite in the general election, amounts to a quasi-endorsement of the Democrat. (In fact, as Matt Lewis rightly notes, this rhetoric is aimed squarely at Democratic and independent voters whom Cochran’s trying to lure into voting in the runoff.) The challenger is unfit for office, Cochran’s essentially saying, in which case logically you’re better off with the alternative. It’s a kamikaze action by establishment Republicans and the NRSC, who’ve evidently decided that it’s more important to their prerogatives to beat the tea partier than it is to beat the left. Which isn’t a crazy conclusion: If you make it impossible for tea-party candidates to win a general election, even at the expense of electing a Democrat instead, eventually some grassroots conservatives will give up and come back to supporting establishment candidates purely in the interest of putting Republicans back in power again. It’s tea partiers who are forever under suspicion of going third-party and handing seats to Democrats, but that’s basically what Cochran’s doing here. Either he wins the runoff or he prefers to see the Democrat win the general. After all, having concluded that McDaniel’s “dangerous,” realistically he can’t turn around and endorse him after the runoff, right?

This is going to keep happening until grassroots righties fight fire with fire and decide that some seats are worth losing in the name of making a point. And if/when you do and Beltway Republicans complain, tell them you learned that strategy from Thad Cochran.


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Cantor is out? Cantor is OUT?

portlandon on June 10, 2014 at 7:40 PM

2014 election for Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat
6d
Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., challenger Chris McDaniel to meet in runoff June 24 to decide GOP Senate nominee – @AP

canopfor on June 10, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Cantor is out? Cantor is OUT?

portlandon on June 10, 2014 at 7:40 PM

I’m hoping and praying!! Mark just gave another update, but had a phone call and missed it.

http://www.marklevinshow.com/

Mark is staying on this.

bluefox on June 10, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Romney campaign crew, lobbyist Trent Lott, and lobbyist Haley Barbour all seek to defeat conservative Chris McDaniel by appealing to Dems and others to vote in GOP runoff; Thad Cochran to run as moderate

http://washingtonexaminer.com/thad-cochran-shifts-gears-in-bid-to-pull-runoff-upset-against-tea-partier/article/2549443

H/T Mark Levin

bluefox on June 10, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Cochran must be in a panic. Given the indications that Cantor is going down in flames, Cochran must be reading the writing on the wall. This kind of hysteria on his part will not build support among the Republican electorate. Dumb move on his part, but clearly, he believes he is on the verge of drowning.

NQJohnson on June 10, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Cochran’s campaign is freaking out….begging Dems to vote for him.

d1carter on June 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM

The Cochran campaign just called me….must have heard about Cantor. LOL

d1carter on June 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Yeah the “he’s an extremist” attack didn’t work against Reagan when Pat Brown tried it, didn’t work against Toomey or Rubio or Lee when their respective guys tried it, didn’t work against Cruz when Dewhurst tried it, and won’t work against McDaniel.

Cochran’s only chance was to tack hard right and basically accuse McDaniel of being a Democrat ( worked for McConnell in Kentucky).

MWC_RS on June 10, 2014 at 8:49 PM

Cantor is out, Cochran is hopefully next.

Ukiah on June 10, 2014 at 9:05 PM

“It would be dangerous to have somebody like him elected.”

AP is right. There’s no coming back from that quote for Cochran. Dude went full Lugar.

Cochran is essentially going to run as a Democrat against McDaniel. Mississippi has a sordid history of pay-to-play politics and one can only imagine some of the deals Cochran and the Barbour clan are brokering with Democrat party leaders.

Robert_Paulson on June 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Realistically, though, an unknown candidate’s not beating the House majority leader in a primary. No undecided voter is going to forfeit the influence their district has in the House right now in order to roll the dice on Brat…

*****
You were as clueless about Brat as you were clueless about Cruz when you frustrated me into making this blog posting.

*****

Clueless ALLAHPUNDIT at Hot Air Says Ted Cruz Can’t Beat Jeb Bush In The Primaries

*****

And putting this in your comment box

*****

You are wrong about Cruz. You don’t understand how large the Teaparty is. You don’t understand how weak the establishment is. Not only do you not know anything, I don’t believe you even suspect much.

conservativeBC on June 10, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Thad’s hoping for hanging chads, as he watches the Virginia bonfire.

platypus on June 10, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Why doesn’t the douche just retire already? He’s embarrassing himself out there.

changer1701 on June 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Enough with the autoplay videos already!

Dunedainn on June 10, 2014 at 11:30 PM

Remember Kentucky conservatives, now is the time for us to set aside our differences with the Establishment and vote for the chosen Republican candidate.

Right.

K. Hobbit on June 10, 2014 at 11:43 PM

It’s just stunning.

All we’ve asked Republicans to do in Washington is fight for us. They were not elected to “rule”. They were elected to serve, but there is no real tangible evidence Republicans have done that.

Since this administration took office and we handed back control of the House to Republicans, we have received nothing in return. No righteous fights, temerity or even a sign they seek to uphold the Constitution and traditional power vested in them. They’ve done nothing but demur, deflect, blame and hurled rhetoric.

But suddenly, they’ve identified the enemy and found the will to fight…us.

Instead of bringing us together, rallying and fighting together against the enormous injustices being perpetrated against our country, Republicans have chosen to attack their own party members with a vigor which has not been evident since 2008. They’ve formed alliances with lobbyists and corporate interests to fight…us, and yield to the nefarious Democrats who have destroyed our country.

Yet they can’t understand why they don’t get the voters support.

This is why they need to go and we will keep on this trajectory until somebody stands up for us.

Marcus Traianus on June 11, 2014 at 8:27 AM

This is going to keep happening until grassroots righties fight fire with fire and decide that some seats are worth losing in the name of making a point. And if/when you do and Beltway Republicans complain, tell them you learned that strategy from Thad Cochran.

But will the Tea Party EVER learn that ? How can we when even those on the Right spin it like this:

Remember Kentucky conservatives, now is the time for us to set aside our differences with the Establishment and vote for the chosen Republican candidate.

Right.

K. Hobbit on June 10, 2014 at 11:43 PM

For some reason the GOP establishment seems never to receive the memo to rally behind the TP candidate – they hang on to the “we need to SAVE the Party from those stupid TP numbnuts” memo.

katiejane on June 11, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I’m just raising the question.

I see he’s been taking campaign lessons from Harry Reid, evidently.

I wonder if Cochran has stopped kidnapping middle school boys off the street after midnight? I’m just raising the question, you know.

GWB on June 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Where’s joana to tell us that No True Republican would sandbag a fellow right-winger and only crazy TruCons would do something so reckless and contra to party interests?

Good Solid B-Plus on June 10, 2014 at 6:43 PM

The little snot-troll is probably still in a tizzy over Cantor getting flushed.

ebrown2 on June 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Cochran is the equivalent of a Kamikaze pilot flying his doomed plane into a ship. The only difference is that the pilot was brave and honorable.

cajunpatriot on June 11, 2014 at 10:44 AM

RINO corrupt pig!Down with Cochran!Adulterous filth!

redware on June 11, 2014 at 10:47 AM

One question: were those gloves latex or vinyl

entagor on June 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM

It takes time to take over a political Party, and no one thought the Establishment would not fight back. The biggest fight has always been with the Republicans in these elections. The midterms depends on turnout, and there is no doubt that Republicans will have a bigger turnout than Democrats. The best part of the TEA Party is how it keeps revealing the true colors of politicians on both sides. Boehner will need two less chairs at his table during happy hour.

lea on June 11, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Thad Thug Cochran. Fixed!

earlgrey on June 11, 2014 at 1:01 PM

What is so wrong about having Republicans vote for Republicans and Democrats vote for Democrats in the primaries? Why do the Dems have to try to pick the Republican candidate (assuming not that many Repubs want to pick the Dem candidate) and attempt to sway the General Election in their favour?

Never understood that…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 11, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Dirty old porker.

ezspirit on June 11, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Thad Cochran calls Chris McDaniel a dangerous extremist

There’s a video of Laura Ingraham speaking on behalf of Scott Brat showing where Cantor made a like remark of Scott Brat.

Trending…

Willys on June 11, 2014 at 9:11 PM

Wuuuupsss….

Dave Brat…. so new and shiny

Willys on June 11, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Seeing that we have a king in all but name sitting in the White House due to Republican cowardice, I would think a bit of extremism is called for.

zoyclem on June 12, 2014 at 7:38 AM

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