Politics

Haley Barbour Dismisses Palin And Santorum As Self-Interested ‘Outside Celebrities’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is dismissing Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum as “outside celebrities” who have gotten involved in the highly-charged Mississippi GOP Senate primary to “help themselves nationally.”

Voters in Mississippi head to the polls on Tuesday, when incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran will face a challenge on the ballot from state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

Ahead of the primary, Barbour, the influential Republican in the state, is arguing that McDaniel is relying on out-of-state conservative stars, while Cochran is boasting support from Mississippi Republicans.

“The McDaniel campaign emphasizes the outside celebrities (Palin and Santorum) who are involved in MS to politically help themselves nationally, not because they are trying to help MS, while Phil Bryant, Roger Wicker, Trent Lott, the entire GOP House delegation, all the GOP statewides and I are all involved to try to help our home state and its citizens,” Barbour said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller.

“This is out-of-state money, celebrities and political gunslingers versus leaders who live here, love the state and want to do what is best for Mississippi, not some national political agenda,” Barbour said in the statement, which was provided by the Barbour-backed Mississippi Conservatives PAC.

That political action committee is spending Monday blanketing the state with recorded telephone appeals from prominent Mississippi Republicans to support Cochran. Both Barbour and former Sen. Trent Lott’s voices are on these phone calls.

Palin, the former governor of Alaska, headlined a rally for McDaniel on Friday, while Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator contemplating another run for president in 2016 as a Republican, did the same for the candidate on Saturday.

On her Facebook page, Palin wrote: “This Mississippi Senate race is a clear case of We the People vs. the permanent political class in D.C. Many fellow conservatives like my friend Mark Levin have endorsed Chris because this is a crucial race for conservatives who know ‘the status quo has got to go’ if we’re to get America on the right track. Chris is running for the right reasons with a positive conservative reform agenda to solve the problems facing our country.”

The race is expected to be a close-one: the Real Clear Politics polling average shows McDaniel and Cochran tied with 42.5 percent each.

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