Although he wasn’t heavily involved in the race, Roger Wicker energetically supported Thad Cochran in his race against Senator Chris McDaniel. And like his other Republican Senate colleagues, help was desperately needed after McDaniel won the primary on June 3 and was widening his lead as the days ticked by. So June 24th was vital.
In a speech in May, before the primary, Wicker told a small gathering of Republicans why he was supporting Ole Thad. As reported by Matthew Boyle of Breitbart:
Wicker said he is “enthusiastically supporting” Cochran because he is the “conservative” candidate in the race. Wicker touted Cochran’s NRA and National Right to Life Committee endorsements. … Wicker also touted Cochran’s seniority in the U.S. Senate and said he’d expect Cochran to be chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee again if he wins. Wicker said such a position would allow Cochran to ensure certain things important to Mississippi are funded, and things that would hurt Mississippi are not funded.
The whole race was turned in favor of Cochran, not because of his record but by the nasty race-baiting campaign, as well as the tons of “street money” dumped in certain neighborhoods near Election Day. After the race-baiting and “street money” campaign had done it’s work, and Cochran had “defeated” McDaniel, Wicker chastised conservative groups that spent money on Senator McDaniel’s behalf, decrying it as a waste, essentially, funds that could have been better used elsewhere.
But to be clear, Roger Wicker supported the Barbour/Cochran voter outreach effort during the runoff. Writes Michael Patrick Leahy:
In June 2014, after Barbour’s political machine orchestrated a number of last minute campaign tactics that many believe stole the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate from Chris McDaniel and handed it to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS), whose current absence from Washington due to continued health issues has now become another stumbling block holding up the enactment of the Trump agenda, Wicker vigorously defended those tactics:
Mississippi’s junior senator and other GOP senators defended Sen. Thad Cochran’s win in the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff Tuesday night, saying that the strategy helped broaden the party’s appeal. . .
“Going out and broadening the base of the party asking more Mississippians to participate in the ballot that was going to determine the next senator? No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he said when asked whether Cochran’s overt appeal to minority and Democratic voters was a bad move.
Wicker noted that 90 percent of eligible voters in his state hadn’t voted in the primary, so both campaigns sought to increase their support. “Chris grew his vote, Thad grew his vote. You look at the pool and start looking at eligible citizens. I am thrilled that we broadened the base. I am thrilled that both candidates increased their vote in a runoff – unheard of,” he added.
Asked about McDaniel’s decision not to formally concede the race, Wicker would only say, “I made it clear early on that I was going to endorse and support the winner. Sen. Cochran made it clear that he was going to support Sen. McDaniel if he won. We’ve got some healing to do,” he said.
Conservatives in Mississippi have a long memory, and those comments are likely to come back to haunt Wicker in 2018, especially if McDaniel is his challenger in the Republican primary.
Yes, Mississippi conservatives do have a long memory and they also understand that Roger Wicker is an Establishment Man to the core, a RINO who is part of Mitch McConnell’s leadership team and who owns an “F” rating with Conservative Review and the Heritage Foundation. It’s time for him to come home.
So next year in 2018 – Remember Mississippi!!