At the same time, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth are backing McDaniel and boosting his image as a small-government conservative, suggesting Cochran is part of the problem in Washington.
Baloney, say some Republicans. Although congressional Republicans effectively banned earmarks beginning in the 112th Congress, hampering Cochran’s ability to funnel funds to Mississippi, working to get that money for the state is still part of the job. McDaniel’s camp rejects the suggestion that he would not fight for Mississippi in Washington. Communications director Keith Plunkett called it “laughable” that McDaniel wouldn’t seek aid for the state during a disaster.
“Senator Cochran did his job when he did that,” Plunkett said. “Let’s not forget that it was everyday working Mississippians who were pulling wet Sheetrock off their walls.”
The state Republican Party does not endorse a candidate in the primary, but Cochran’s reputation carries weight. State GOP Chairman Joe Nosef pointed out that if Cochran were to run again, he would probably win, and if Republicans take the majority, he would be in a powerful position on the Appropriations or Agriculture committees.
“I think it would be good for the party,” Nosef said.