Rick Santorum: Chris McDaniel’s Opposition “Hiding the Ball”

Santorum: McDaniel’s opposition ‘hiding the ball’

By Patrick Ochs, Sun Herald, May 31, 2014

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DIAMONDHEAD — From the “sideline,” Rick Santorum had been keeping an eye on the U.S. Senate race in Mississippi and felt like State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s battle with six-term Sen. Thad Cochran looked like a fair fight.

“Then something happened here in the last few weeks that diverted attention away from that,” the 2012 presidential candidate said Saturday at a McDaniel rally in Diamondhead. “And when I saw that, I said you know what, they’re hiding the ball here. They’re hiding the ball and trying to make this race not about what’s important for our country and the next six years for the state of Mississippi, but they’re trying to make this about something else that has nothing to do with the two candidates.”

At that point, Santorum said he decided to jump in and back McDaniel with the primary just a few days out.

Santorum’s stumping at the Diamondhead Country Club comes one day after former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin stood alongside McDaniel in his hometown of Ellisville. Both have recently appeared on television and radio commercials respectively, backing the “conservative Republican.”

Santorum said his people reached out to McDaniel’s campaign Friday to set up Saturday’s event after his appearance at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans and he figured there might just be a small group of people who would come out on such short notice.

“To see a couple hundred people come out on such short notice tells me there’s some energy here in Mississippi for the McDaniel campaign,” he said.

Feeling momentum

McDaniel told his supporters Saturday he felt his campaign has “the wind in its sails.”

A poll released Friday by Chism Strategies, a Mississippi firm that says it has no ties to either candidate, said the race is too close to project, with McDaniel leading 46.4 percent to 44.3 percent but within its margin of error.

“Join us. Tuesday is so much bigger than you know,” McDaniel said. “We can do this.”

Other supporters

Josh Duggar of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” also stopped by to announce the Family Research Council’s endorsement of McDaniel. State Sens. Billy Hudson, Tony Smith, Angela Hill and Michael Watson were all on stage with their families and were introduced by fellow State Sen. Melanie Sojourner.

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