To listen to the mainstream media, both in Mississippi and across the nation, the US Senate special election for Thad Cochran’s old seat, a battle between Cindy Hyde-Smith and Chris McDaniel, at least on the Republican side of things, is a fight for President Donald Trump’s endorsement, for the candidate who can snag the big prize will win the big honor.
And make no mistake, a Trump endorsement would be huge, so McDaniel’s critics, in the GOP Establishment and the Hyde-Smith camp, are trying to create division where there is none, falsely claiming that he hates Trump and does not, nor has he ever, supported the “America First” agenda. In short, he’s a “Johnny-Come-Lately” candidate.
But McDaniel’s 2014 campaign against Thad Cochran is a testament to his consistency in supporting what became known as the “Trump Agenda,” putting America first in immigration, trade, and foreign affairs. And it is immigration, as McDaniel said recently, that is the nation’s biggest issue today.
As I wrote in Remember Mississippi, as a State Senator, McDaniel fought to save jobs and protect against illegal immigration:
He authored the Immigration Reform Act to prevent Mississippi from becoming a “sanctuary” state and introduced a number of other pieces of legislation relating to immigration, including bills to prohibit undocumented workers from receiving federal and state benefits and to require illegal aliens to pay out-of-state tuition at state schools. He also authored the Employment Protection Act in 2008, also known as the E-Verify law, which requires all Mississippi companies to use an Internet-based system to check the legal status of potential employees. The enactment of this law would also prohibit Mississippi companies from employing illegal immigrants.
During the 2014 campaign, McDaniel was the first candidate of the entire cycle to sign a pledge by FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, to never support amnesty and to back American workers. FAIR’s pledge included three planks:
The first is to oppose “any form of work authorization” for illegal aliens. The second is to oppose legislation that would increase the number of legal immigrants. The third is to oppose bills that increase the number of “guest workers.”
As McDaniel said in an interview with Breitbart upon news of his support for the pledge, “What we’ve seen over the past several years is a combination of wage stagnation, growth in welfare programs and even shrinking workforce participation. That comes in large part because of out of control illegal immigration but also because of increased numbers of legal immigration. We have millions of Americans who don’t have a job, plus we have millions who are on public benefits. How about we find a way to put those people back to work?”
It was the FAIR pledge that brought the endorsement of Laura Ingraham, who praised McDaniel for signing the pledge in order “to focus on American workers and legal immigrants working in this country. He has signed it. Very few other people thus far have signed it. We are monitoring this for you and tracking which senators and would-be senators, congressmen and would-be congressmen, sign this very important pledge. No wiggle room on the issue of amnesty here.” Thad Cochran never did sign it and it’s a strong bet Cindy Hyde-Smith won’t either.
When Ingraham described McDaniel on her radio show, she called him “the closest thing to Jeff Sessions that I have come across. Jeff Sessions meaning pro-American jobs, American economic renewal, really solid on the issue of immigration and American sovereignty.”
And although the other two issues did not come up very often in 2014, McDaniel also criticized the Establishment, and Cochran specifically, for “the trade deals he’s supported” over the years and he vowed to seek a “more prudent foreign policy” for the United States.
The problem for Cindy Hyde-Smith is that she has NEVER been a proponent of America First, not on immigration, trade, or foreign policy, that is, until now. She’s the one who is shifting here, not Chris McDaniel.
For one, being a Democrat for most of her life, how could she support that agenda? Democrats don’t and she didn’t either. Secondly, like Thad Cochran before her, Cindy Hyde-Smith, now as a Republican, has the support of the US Chamber of Commerce, which supports amnesty, open borders, floods of cheap immigrant labor, free trade, government bailouts, and the like. They’ve spent millions of dollars supporting her by tearing down McDaniel, which should tell wavering voters everything about this important issue.
But, despite all that, Hyde-Smith has been so eager to get the Trump endorsement that she’s willing to do anything, including lie about his endorsement, when the truth is that the Trump White House was not happy with her appointment and is very lukewarm, to put it mildly, about endorsing her. It’s obvious that Hyde-Smith feels that if she does not get the president’s backing she may not beat McDaniel, so she’s simply trying to ride his coattails into election to the Senate to finish out Cochran’s term. She’s being an opportunist now, just like she was when she switched parties to run for statewide office in 2011.
President Trump has said he needs more Republicans elected in 2018 that will help further his “America First” agenda, to support his efforts to open foreign markets to our trade goods, to get the border wall funded and built, and to change American foreign policy. He won’t get that with Cindy Hyde-Smith, but with Chris McDaniel it’s a guarantee. His career is a testament to that irrefutable fact.