Friday morning in Oxford, MSNBC’s Morning Joe show interviewed Mississippi U.S. Senate candidates Mike Espy, Chris McDaniel and David Baria.

Espy said he has been very pleased with the way the campaign trail has currently been going. He said many see him–an African American Democrat from Mississippi– as an illusion (quoting William Faulkner), but he is confident that he and his team will get the vote out. Espy said in their recent polling is good and the goal is to get to a runoff after the Nov. 6 election with the current incumbent appointed Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.


Espy said for him to achieve this goal, African Americans must turn out to vote and they must secure some of the crossover votes, which could be difficult in a state that votes majority red.

“I’m not running against Trump, I’m running for the office U.S. Senator. I am a Democrat, I acknowledge that and am apart of the Democratic Caucus. But I am an independent, small i, independent. I do not care where the idea comes from, if it’s a good idea then I’m going to promote it. If it comes from the administration and it’s well-meaning and not ill-will, but the reverse is also true,” said Espy. “I care about getting the job done.”

Espy touted the success of his former political career under the Clinton administration and his current work with his nonprofit that goes into low-income districts and works to build economic wealth in those communities.

David Baria was also interviewed for his campaign against US Senator Roger Wicker.

Baria is running in the U.S. Senate race against Senator Roger Wicker. He said he believes folks in Mississippi are ready for change and for a candidate like him.

“I’m not running against President Trump, I’m running against someone who won’t stand up against the President and his leadership when they make bad decisions that hurt Mississippians,” said Rep. Baria.

He argued that the tariffs imposed by the current administration have hurt things like the automobile industry and the shipbuilding industry.

The Wall, a boarder to Mexico, came up and Baria called it a 15th Century idea and said there are ways to secure the boarder without spending millions on a wall and then providing security like this.

“I think Mississippi is ready for someone like me,” said Baria. Baria was prompted to enter into politics after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. He has been elected 3 times in his district in what is typically a Republican district.

Next up was Senator Chris McDaniel. The first matter of businesses brought up by Joe Scarborough was Trump’s endorsement of Cindy Hyde-Smith and not McDaniel. He questioned whether that actually helped McDaniel’s campaign that the establishment was against him.

“We are accustomed to the establishment standing against us, we don’t see that as an issue. We are principled conservatives and we have been for some time. Our position is we have to learn to fight. Our party has not been the courageous party that I grew up in,” said McDaniel.

He expressed concern that his party, Republicans, have moved away from the traditions of Reagan and he is trying to save the original platform, something he believes that the establishment doesn’t seem to try to do.

McDaniel said he does believe, like Espy, that he will be in the runoff but didn’t say who he thought he would face.

Mitch McConnell’s name makes it into the conversation multiple times. McDaniel says getting rid of people like McConnell are key to changing the current establishment. Currently, McDaniel is hosting Town Hall meetings on the campaign trail and says those he’s hearing from are more fired up than they were in the 2014 election when he ran against now-retired Senator Thad Cochran.

McDaniel shared his support of what the President has done since the beginning of his term  with the tax cuts, judge selection, and constant reform but made the comment that people now need to stand with him so “he doesn’t have to beg Mitch McConnell.”

Willie Geist, one of the show’s hosts, questions McDaniels continual comments about Mitch McConnell and asks if he is implying that the President looks weak next to McConnell or suggesting he is getting “rolled” by McConnell, McDaniel comes back to defend his comments.

“I am not… I am suggesting that there is no other explanation as to why the President would have endorsed the likes of Mitt Romney unless there is some game in play,” said McDaniel. He says after Trump’s endorsements of Romney and Paul Ryan it appears that the establishment has a game in play in order to secure votes in the Senate.

He did draw some derision from the assembled crowd when asked his response to how he would represent black Mississippi voters when he said, “after 100 years of relying on big government to save you, where are you today? After 100 years of begging for federal government scraps, where are you today?”

At the end of the day McDaniel says Mississippi just will not send a Democrat to the U.S. Senate and while Espy may be a nice guy he was appointed under the Clinton administration and was also indicted during his time there. He says a Republican is going to beat a Democrat either way.