Exclusive: McDaniel Team Strikes ‘Black’ References From Press Release

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Still refusing to concede, Chris McDaniel’s team issued a press release late last week saying that the Mississippi GOP is “prohibited from recognizing Thad Cochran as their nominee for U.S. Senate in accordance with the rules of the Republican National Committee” — because Democrats participated in his election.

But a first draft of that same release, obtained by The Daily Caller, twice called out “black Democrats” as the culprits.

While both references to “black” were stripped out of McDaniel’s public press release, the “1st Draft” refers to “black Democrats” and talks about Cochran campaign soliciting “black Democrat votes.”

“Thad Cochran lost Republican votes in the runoff, but made up the difference with black democrat votes,” the early version says.

And here’s the same line from the copy that went out: “Thad Cochran lost Republican votes in the runoff and made up the difference with Democrat votes.”

It was widely expected — even before the run-off election — that Sen. Cochran would, in fact, attempt to turn out Democrats, including some from the African-American community. That’s no surprise. But since Mississippi doesn’t have party registration (and since votes cast are secret), it’s hard to actually prove exactly who voted for whom.

In any event, this edit reveals the difficult line McDaniel’s team is attempting to walk in their last-ditch effort to secure Mississippi’s Senate seat — and may also belie their true beliefs about how the election was stolen from them.

McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch initially declined to comment for this story, but later emailed this statement:

 “As Trent Lott recently said, the dirty tactics Cochran camp used in Mississippi indicate it’s time for a shake-up of the Mississippi GOP. Ultimately the good people of Mississippi will judge Henry Barbour’s admitted involvement with and the Mississippi Republican Party’s silent complicity in the race-baiting radio ads that ran in June. Until such time as party leaders vocally reject those tactics, their calls for party unity will ring hollow.”

McDaniel is set to hold a press conference this afternoon, to announce a “major development.” Speculation is that it will dovetail the press release. Perhaps someone from the press corps will ask about the redaction.

You can see the first draft of the press release below: