Conservative groups endorse primary challenger to Cochran

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Three influential conservative groups endorsed a potential primary challenger to Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran on Thursday.

Club for Growth, Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project endorsed Chris McDaniel, a state Senator from Mississippi, who announced a run for Senate on Thursday. Cochran has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election.

“Senator Chris McDaniel represents the next generation of conservative leadership that Mississippi Republicans are waiting for,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement.

“Mississippi needs a strong fiscal conservative in the Senate who will fight President Obama and his agenda of higher taxes and bigger government,” he added. “Senator Chris McDaniel is ready to take the fight straight to the liberals in Washington who have led us to $17 trillion in debt. Club members look forward to strongly supporting his candidacy in the primary and general elections next year.”

In a similar statement, SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins Lauded McDaniel as “a constitutional conservative who will fight to stop Obamacare, balance the budget, and get America working again. Chris McDaniel is not part of the Washington establishment and he has the courage to stand up to the big spenders in both parties. He’s a principled leader who will make Mississippi proud.”

The Madison Project was the only endorsement to make any direct mention of Cochran, saying he was “completely missing in action in the fight against Obamacare,” in a statement from the Madison Poject’s Daniel Horowitz.

Sadly, throughout his 34 year career, Senator Cochran has seldom stood up for conservative values, often voting with Democrats for more taxes, spending increases, abortion funding, gun control, and job-killing regulations,” the statement continued.

“Worst of all, Senator Cochran has earned the distinction of being one of the biggest wasteful spenders of this generation. If there were a pork-spending hall of fame, Cochran would be front and center,” Horowitz added.

Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller pointed to the fact that Cochran had not yet announced if he would run for re-election, telling The Daily Caller that “Should he become a candidate, we might have more to say about him at that time.”

“But,” he added, “Sen. Cochran’s 68% lifetime score on the Club for Growth’s scorecard ranks him at the bottom of Republicans presently serving in the Senate, so there are obviously some concerns there.”

Cochran was one of the 27 Republican Senators who voted in favor of the bipartisan deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling on Wednesday night. He also voted in favor of the procedural vote last month on which Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz tried to convince Republican Senators to take a stand in an ultimately failed attempt to defund Obamacare.

Asked for comment, a spokesman for Sen. Cochran, Chris Gallegos, told The Daily Caller: “Senator Cochran has indicated that he will determine his plans regarding the 2014 election cycle later this year.”

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