U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran narrowly defeated Tea Party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel in Mississippi’s Republican primary runoff on Tuesday, but McDaniel isn’t ready to concede.
On Tuesday, McDaniel called into Glenn Beck’s radio program to discuss what he found “disturbing” about the election results.
“I thought Republican primaries were about Republicans,” McDaniel said. “I’m not pleased about the fact that liberal Democrats decided the U.S. Senate nominee for the state of Mississippi. I think it’s disturbing.”
McDaniel was referring to reports that Cochran’s heavy courtship of black Democrats — who turned out to support the incumbent in record numbers — was key to his success.
But McDaniel charged that Cochran’s team didn’t just court Democrats — they spread rumors and lies about him just ahead of the election.
“[They] orchestrated flyers that called me a racist,” he said. “They said I would end food stamps for everyone. They went into the same communities with speaker trucks and said that I was trying to suppress votes in those communities. They did every dirty trick in the book, behaving just like liberal Democrats do.”
The Ellisville, Mississippi, state senator expressed shock that the party he has fought for his entire life would treat him so callously, and said that while he is still a Republican, he is “absolutely not” pleased with the direction of the party.
But what McDaniel said concerns him most is that Mississippi Republicans did not seem to decide who their own nominee is, because of the heavy crossover of Democratic voters.
“The numbers we saw reported by the outside press shows we won the race by about 25,000 votes among the Republican voters,” he explained. “They won because they were able to push 35,000 to 40,000 liberal Democrats with those tactics.”
“I find that strange — the very ideology that they are going to be proclaiming to fight against was the very one they embraced to put a conservative out of the race,” McDaniel added. “That’s wrong, under anybody’s level. That’s not even the way this party’s supposed to be behave, but it is.”
McDaniel said he is not yet ready to concede because there were “so many irregularities” with the election results.
“We know if someone did vote in the earlier June 3rd primary on the Democrat side, it is illegal for them to cross over and vote,” McDaniel explained. “But we also know that if you have no intention of supporting the candidate, you should not vote for him in the primary.”
McDaniel said they are hearing talk “all over the state” of Democrats who voted in the Republican primary, but have no intention of supporting the Republican in the general election. They are now determining the best course of action to prove whether there was any illegal or wrongful activity.
“We’ll make some tough decisions here the next five or six days,” he said.
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