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BILL CRAWFORD: Reporter says Chris McDaniel hedging on key issues

Chris McDaniel

Chris McDaniel

By Bill Crawford

If you sense something fishy about Senator Thad Cochran’s upstart opponent, it may be the flip-flopping. Republican senate candidate Chris McDaniel’s issue fickleness was exposed in a recent article by Politico.com reporter Alexander Burns.

McDaniel promotes himself as an anti-government, anti-spending purist in the mold of Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, both of whom, for example, took strong ideological positions against the federal farm bill and the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

“I’m not going to do anything for you,” McDaniel preached to a group of Ole Miss students, according to Burns. “I’m going to get the government off your back, then I’m gonna let you do it for yourself.”

But a little later, Burns reported, McDaniel “hedged that statement.”

When asked about whether he supported the federal farm bill or efforts to subsidize federal flood insurance rates, “McDaniel said he was not prepared to take a position on either.” On the flood insurance issue he added, “The people of the Coast have come to depend upon that, to a certain extent.”

McDaniel also waffled, Burns reported, on whether he would have championed the Hurricane Katrina relief bill that Cochran championed and pushed to passage. “I would have to see the details of it. I really would,” McDaniel said, according to Burns. “That’s not an easy vote to cast.” Pressed by Burns, McDaniel said, “I probably would have supported it.” The next day McDaniel’s spokesman “to clarify” told Burns “Chris would’ve been a yes vote on the disaster bill.”

In the days following the Burns article, newspaper editorials and numerous Republican leaders blasted McDaniel for his weak statement of support for Katrina relief. McDaniel responded by saying his opponents were slandering him. Then, he posted on Facebook a message of sudden strong support for hurricane relief spending:

“Just to be perfectly clear, I support disaster relief efforts for massive tragedies like Katrina.”

Alas, to please the big out-of-state Super Pacs bankrolling his campaign, McDaniel needs to stay on the anti-government, anti-spending message with Cruz and Lee.

“McDaniel spoke admiringly of Cruz and Lee,” Burns wrote in his article, “explaining that he had spoken with both men and met several times with Lee. Asked what kind of advice he got from the upstart duo, McDaniel said it was much ‘the same type of advice I gave those students tonight. Just that the country is worth defending, the country is worth saving and that it takes courage to do that. That’s the message of our movement.”

Hmm, courage. Courage means sticking with the message in the face of opposition, something McDaniel seems to have trouble doing.

One final fishy note in the Politico.com article, Burns wrote, “Lee’s spokesman said the senator’s conversations with McDaniel were ‘news to me.’


» Bill Crawford (crawfolk@gmail.com) is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.


  1. McDaniel criticized the Federal Government spending on a state’s museum. Far, far different than a state Senator voting on state money for a state project. Cochran voted for Chuck Hagel for Defense Sect. Hagel has now teamed up with Obama to reduce our military to insignificance. Hagel supports Iran and the destruction of Israel. Can anyone point out one time when Cochran did anything to work to repeal Obamacare? It is not very likely Cochran will serve out another term. Does anyone really trust Cochran to vote against Amnesty for Illegals or against the UN arms treaty? I don’t. Does Cochran team up with Mitch McConnell or Ted Cruz and Rand Paul?
    McDaniel authored and pushed to passage a bill to once again allow religious freedom in our schools.
    McDaniel fought and almost won a fight against Haley Barbour to limit state government’s power to seize your property and give it to others via eminent domain.
    McDaniel has cosponsored legislation to stop Common Core. McDaniel has sponsored and cosponsored a number of gun rights bills. Does McDaniel team up with Mitch McConnell or Ted Cruz and Rand Paul?

  2. Friends,
    In Washington, we have an extreme left pro socialist regime working night and day to “fundamentally transform” our country to be something between European Socialist and Soviet Communist. Along with that we have a Republican Party that doesn’t stand against centralized power, they just want it for themselves. If you want to at least try to turn the ship of America around we have to repeal Washington. The change we need is the character and constitutional beliefs of Chris McDaniel. Forget Left vs. Right, Democrat vs. Republican. The battle is Wrong vs. Right, Washington power vs. the liberty of the People. To stop the destruction of America, we need Chris McDaniel in Washington.

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