Barbour, meanwhile, is not a fan. “I think he will get his head handed to him, and that will be what he deserves,” the former governor, now a lobbyist, said of McDaniel before he announced his primary bid.
But the rebellious McDaniel says, in his smooth southern drawl: “It was not my intention, nor will it ever be, to kiss the ring.” In considering the run, he says, he went “straight to the people” rather than consulting with insiders.
A lawyer whose father was a college professor, McDaniel is erudite and often brings the discussion back to the Constitution. He says he is the type of Republican who wants to bring the federal government back down to its enumerated powers in the Constitution.
“In my soul I believe I’m first and foremost a Jeffersonian. I admire Taft, of course. I admire Goldwater. Reagan, obviously. I’m very interested in Austrian economics, whether it be Hayek or even earlier philosophers like Bastiat — philosophers that value freedom as opposed to statism,” he says .
It’s never easy to unseat a sitting senator, but McDaniel seems to have as good a shot as any of the challengers this cycle. If he wins, Cruz, Lee, and Rand Paul will likely have themselves a fellow traveler to cause trouble with.