BILL CRAWFORD: Reporter says McDaniel hedging on key issues

If you sense something fishy about Sen. Thad Cochran’s upstart opponent, it may be the flip-flopping. Republican senate candidate Chris McDaniel’s issue fickleness was exposed in a recent article by Politico.com reporter Alexander Burns.

McDaniel promotes himself as an anti-government, anti-spending purist in the mold of Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, both of whom, for example, took strong ideological positions against the federal farm bill and the Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

“I’m not going to do anything for you,” McDaniel preached to a group of University of Mississippi students, according to Burns. “I’m going to get the government off your back, then I’m gonna let you do it for yourself.”

But a little later, Burns reported, McDaniel “hedged that statement.”

When asked about whether he supported the federal farm bill or efforts to subsidize federal flood insurance rates, “McDaniel said he was not prepared to take a position on either.” On the flood insurance issue he added, “The people of the coast have come to depend upon that, to a certain extent.”

McDaniel also waffled, Burns reported, on whether he would have championed the Hurricane Katrina relief bill that Cochran championed and pushed to passage. “I would have to see the details of it. I really would,” McDaniel said, according to Burns. “That’s not an easy vote to cast.” Pressed by Burns, McDaniel said, “I probably would have supported it.” The next day McDaniel’s spokesman “to clarify” told Burns “Chris would’ve been a yes vote on the disaster bill.”

Daily Journal
2/24/14