As State Senator Chris McDaniel rallied a room of supporters in Pearl last week, one thing was clear. He was embracing being the political outsider.
Y’all Politics sat down with McDaniel following that rally:
McDaniel addressed topics like the storm of advertisements from U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, his views of the political establishment, and the Reagan-era policies that drive him to this day.
On Cindy-Hyde Smith, McDaniel claimed an unwillingness to debate as a weakness in her campaign.
“Frankly, it should be disqualifying,” McDaniel told the media. In the town hall, he drilled the point further. “If you can’t find somebody willing to debate– if you can’t find somebody willing to stand their ground, they should not be a U.S. Senator. Cindy Hyde-Smith won’t debate me in Mississippi, and she won’t debate for you in D.C.”
McDaniel has long touted former President Ronald Reagan as his political inspiration.
“I’m a child of the Reagan Revolution,” said McDaniel. “Reagan said the Republican party was one of bold colors, not pastels.”
The Republican party, according to McDaniel, is not what it used to be.
“The leadership of my party abandoned its principles,” said McDaniel. “They cozied up to the insiders, the donors, the fat cats. They forgot about the people…the Republican party is more moderate than Republican. The lobbyists have to go. The moneychangers have to go. The idea that they are better than us has to go.”
The senator said the Democratic party has had an even further transition from its original values.
“Democrats aren’t bad people—but they have a dangerous viewpoint of government,” said McDaniel. “That party has become more socialist than democratic.”
This is the second run that the state senator has made for U.S. Senate and he is not a stranger to criticism.
“Of all the nasty things they’ve said, they’ve never said I’m not a conservative… they know I’m dead serious when I say I’ll drain the swamp,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel also spoke out on the sexual assault allegations surrounding Brett Kavanaugh and called for senators to support him.
“All of these vicious attacks against Trump… where are your senators? Dead silent,” said McDaniel. “Working for Mitch McConnell. All this against Judge Kavanaugh— where are your senators?”
The US Senate hopeful has faced intense social media scrutiny for comments made regarding the investigation he made on the American Family Radio show “Focal Point,” in which he said that 99% of such allegations are made up. He later clarified that he meant that in a political environment.
“I was talking about allegations in this political environment,” said McDaniel to media at the Pearl Town Hall meeting. “You can’t put words in my mouth.”
McDaniel stated that he doubts the allegations given their timing and the amount of time since the alleged incident took place. This seemingly mirrors the position of Mississippi’s two current US senators, Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith.