Lott: Miss. GOP could use shake-up

Former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) says Mississippi Republicans may need a regime change after the damaging primary fight between Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

“This has shown the fissures that are there and I do think the party leaders – it may cause the need for some change in the party leadership,” Lott, now the co-chairman of Squire Patton Boggs’ public policy practice, told The Hill during a wide-ranging interview at the firm’s Washington office.

He warned that the Mississippi establishment is ignoring the Tea Party wing of the GOP at their own peril…

…Lott said he didn’t believe McDaniel’s refusal to quit would jeopardize the GOP’s hold on the seat, but that it “has created some problems internally, within the party in the state.”

“I’ve already talked to some of the leaders that I worked with over the years about how do we deal with that. There is a little bit of a rupture there,” he added….

…Lott said a Tea Party challenge could’ve happened to him if he were in office.

“I also have asked myself — after what I saw happen in Mississippi this very year — would I have that kind of challenge? Because I had been accused as someone who would make a deal, or [be] willing to compromise to get a result.

“Times are so different. I don’t know how I would do, but I do know one thing: They’d have to take me out, because I’d sure go down swinging,” he said.

The Hill
8/3/14