Haley Barbour op-ed in Sunherald: Cochran’s foes don’t know Pascagoula from Pontotoc

Mississippians appreciate Sen. Thad Cochran because he has been so effective for our state and our people. He recognized the federal disaster assistance laws that were in place before Hurricane Katrina were grossly insufficient to deal with the worst natural disaster in American history. Because of the respect he enjoys and the influence he wields on behalf of our state, he led the effort that passed new emergency disaster assistance laws that not only helped the Coast rebuild bigger and better after the storm, but his legislation became the model for future disaster assistance.

This is but one obvious reason Sen. Cochran is so well-regarded here. Another reason, however is that Thad is a gentleman who tells the truth and sticks to his word.

Regrettably, the author of a column in the Sun Herald last week is not bound by the facts. Instead, the op-ed written by former Congressman Chris Chocola is as hypocritical as it comes. I expected as much when I read the headline, “Thad Cochran is a liberal.” But with all the out-of-state money being pumped into our state by groups like Chocola’s Club for Growth, distortion was to be expected.

Chocola, a former two-term congressman from Indiana, runs a political action committee that spends most of its money trying to defeat Republican incumbents in GOP primaries. That group succeeded in defeating long-term Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar in the Republican primary in 2012, allowing a Democrat to win what had previously been a safe Republican Senate seat.

In his column, Chocola attacked Sen. Cochran for voting to increase the federal debt ceiling. What Chocola doesn’t say is that he himself voted to increase the federal debt ceiling every time it came up while he was in Congress. So this “gentleman” attacks Cochran for doing exactly what he did every chance he got during his four years in Congress. How hypocritical can you get?

This is reminiscent of Chocola’s preferred candidate in Mississippi, plaintiff lawyer Chris McDaniel. McDaniel campaigns against the Common Core education standards that the Mississippi Department of Education is implementing. What McDaniel doesn’t tell you is that he has repeatedly voted in the state Senate for Common Core education standards legislation. In fact, he voted twice to fund the implementation of Common Core. Even though he is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which wrote this bill, he recently defended his votes to fund Common Core by saying he did not realize the funding was in the bill. Priceless.

This hypocrisy is bad enough, but then Chris Chocola flatly states that Sen. Cochran voted to fund Obamacare. What a fraudulent claim.

SunHerald
3/26/14