Wicker on the Run from Potential McDaniel Challenge

Roger Wicker Assumes Four Positions On Obamacare 2.0 in Brief Media Interview

News of Chris McDaniel’s potential run for U.S. Senate in 2018 has reached the newsrooms of the Beltway’s establishment media operations in the form of the The National Journal. (You can read the article in its entirety below.)

Mississippians recognize that McDaniel, who took more votes than 45-year incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran on June 3, 2014, poses a serious threat to Haley Barbour’s fiefdom between the Mississippi River and Alabama. Even establishment Republicans who spoke with The National Journal on condition of anonymity realize this.

Perhaps that fear is what drove Sen. Wicker to assume at least four distinct positions on Obamacare 2.0 last week.

After (1) having remained silent about Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 bill, Wicker, who was asked about his silence by Breitbart reporter Matt Boyle (2) admitted to supporting the plan, even though it doesn’t repeal Obamacare.

Wicker Communications Director Ryan Taylor took a third position  on behalf of Sen. Wicker when he (3) laughably tried to blame Obamacare 2.0 on President Trump, and stated that Obamacare 2.0 was “the president’s proposal” rather than Ryan’s bill.

The beleaguered aide assumed a fourth position on behalf of Roger Wicker when he alleged that (4) “Sen. Wicker is working with President Trump, Vice President Pence, and most Republicans” on health care reform.

Whichever of those four positions is closest to reality, one thing is clear:  Roger Wicker had better live up to his claims of conservatism with this Obamacare 2.0 vote, or he’ll have a tougher fight on his hands than he’s ever faced.

And the national news media will be watching.

Read the article originally published in The National Journal article below:

 

Mississippi Republicans Prepping for Another Senate Primary

The same challenger could be back from the ugly 2014 race that went to a runoff.

By Kimberly Railey

In a Sen­ate cycle that will be played al­most en­tirely on Demo­crat­ic turf, Mis­sis­sippi could host an in­tern­al Re­pub­lic­an war.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel is ser­i­ously con­sid­er­ing a Re­pub­lic­an primary chal­lenge to Sen. Ro­ger Wick­er in 2018, four years after nearly un­seat­ing Sen. Thad Co­chran. Even at this early point, a McDaniel bid threatens to re­ignite the GOP rift that nom­in­a­tion fight laid bare, when es­tab­lish­ment and tea-party groups fueled one of the most hard-edged midterm battles.

Sev­er­al Mis­sis­sippi Re­pub­lic­ans con­ten­ded that Wick­er would enter a race against McDaniel as the fa­vor­ite, thanks to a cam­paign already mov­ing far more quickly than Co­chran’s 2014 ef­fort. But they warned that McDaniel, armed with a base of hard-core sup­port­ers, is still a strong threat.

“It would be a ser­i­ous chal­lenge,” said one Mis­sis­sippi Re­pub­lic­an, gran­ted an­onym­ity to speak can­didly. “The guy al­most beat Thad Co­chran, who’s a be­loved states­man.”

In an in­ter­view with Na­tion­al Journ­al, McDaniel em­phas­ized that “all op­tions are on the table” for his polit­ic­al fu­ture. A de­cision on a Sen­ate bid, he said, would come by the end of the year, but he doesn’t see him­self at a dis­ad­vant­age this time giv­en his per­form­ance against Co­chran.

“I don’t think I’m the un­der­dog,” McDaniel said. “Co­chran was next in line to be Ap­pro­pri­ations Chair­man, and Co­chran was in­cred­ibly pop­u­lar in Mis­sis­sippi.”

Com­pared with Wick­er, McDaniel ad­ded, “Co­chran was a much more for­mid­able op­pon­ent.”

But Co­chran got a crip­plingly late start, wait­ing un­til Decem­ber 2013 to de­cide to run again, months after McDaniel had de­clared. Wick­er has already hired a vet­er­an cam­paign man­ager in Justin Brasell, a Mis­sis­sippi nat­ive whose résumé in­cludes races for Sens. Mitch Mc­Con­nell of Ken­tucky and Tom Cot­ton of Arkan­sas.

Wick­er is also build­ing a grass­roots cam­paign in all of the state’s 82 counties, Brasell said. At the start of the year, he had $1.6 mil­lion in his cam­paign ac­count.

“Our plan is to pre­pare for a com­pet­it­ive race no mat­ter what,” Brasell said.

One ques­tion is wheth­er McDaniel’s bid will draw out­side sup­port from con­ser­vat­ive or­gan­iz­a­tions like the Club for Growth, whose su­per PAC shelled out more than $3 mil­lion to boost him in 2014. Spokes­man Doug Sach­tleben said the group is “watch­ing the race.”

McDaniel, who said he has had no of­fi­cial meet­ing with the Club, as­ser­ted that his team is in “con­stant con­tact” with con­ser­vat­ive groups around the coun­try.

Wick­er, mean­while, is poised to have the full weight of party lead­ers be­hind him, after chair­ing the Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Sen­at­ori­al Com­mit­tee in 2016 and keep­ing the Sen­ate un­der GOP con­trol. That suc­cess, Re­pub­lic­ans said, en­deared him to a wide net­work of donors, as well as con­ser­vat­ive sen­at­ors who could prove help­ful sur­rog­ates against McDaniel.

In a state­ment, NR­SC ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or Chris Hansen said the com­mit­tee “is proud to fully sup­port” Wick­er in the primary and gen­er­al elec­tion.

“In 2016, Sen­at­or Ro­ger Wick­er saved the Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate ma­jor­ity,” Hansen said. “Without his tire­less work, lib­er­al New York Sen­at­or Chuck Schu­mer would be in charge of the United States Sen­ate today.”

McDaniel, in de­clar­ing his ra­tionale for a bid, ac­cused Wick­er of not push­ing a con­ser­vat­ive enough ver­sion of health care re­form. But Wick­er al­lies said that strategy is flawed, point­ing out Pres­id­ent Trump’s back­ing of the cur­rent Re­pub­lic­an plan and Trump’s pop­ular­ity among the GOP base.

Trump en­dorsed McDaniel in 2014, tweet­ing that the state sen­at­or “wants things to change in Wash­ing­ton.”

For its part, the Wick­er team main­tains this would be an en­tirely dif­fer­ent race. Brasell said the sen­at­or is a close and trus­ted ally of the pres­id­ent.

“Sen­at­or Wick­er would ex­pect to have the strong sup­port of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Brasell said.

The polit­ic­al en­vir­on­ment was also far dif­fer­ent in 2014, when tea-party groups were look­ing for in­cum­bents to primary. Former House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor was de­feated that year, a week after the Mis­sis­sippi primary. No in­cum­bent Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­or has lost a primary since 2012.

Wick­er al­lies also ar­gued that the nasty end to McDaniel’s 2014 race could have soured his stand­ing among some Mis­sis­sippi Re­pub­lic­ans. After push­ing Co­chran in­to a run­off, McDaniel re­fused to con­cede and later filed a form­al chal­lenge to the elec­tion res­ults, al­leging voter fraud and oth­er ir­reg­u­lar­it­ies.

“When you go to battle, you’re go­ing to have some wounds,” said Noel Fritsch, McDaniel’s 2014 com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or. “Wick­er hasn’t been tested yet. That’s what this is go­ing to be all about.”

Even McDaniel crit­ics con­ceded that the state sen­at­or re­mains pop­u­lar among some con­ser­vat­ives in the state. After some Re­pub­lic­ans pre­dicted that chal­len­ging Co­chran would be a ca­reer-end­ing move, McDaniel was most re­cently reelec­ted to his seat with 86 per­cent of the vote.

As he weighs a Sen­ate bid, McDaniel has also been floated for oth­er statewide po­s­i­tions, in­clud­ing gov­ernor and lieu­ten­ant gov­ernor. To run for Sen­ate, he would not have to give up his cur­rent post.

In the mean­time, Mis­sis­sippi Re­pub­lic­ans said Wick­er, who was in­stru­ment­al to help­ing Co­chran win the 2014 run­off, is not tak­ing any­thing for gran­ted.

“The biggest dif­fer­ence is that the Wick­er cam­paign will be pre­pared and the Co­chran cam­paign wasn’t,” said Bri­an Perry, who ran a pro-Co­chran su­per PAC in 2014.

“Wick­er is tak­ing it ser­i­ously,” he ad­ded.

VIDEO: Did You Know Your Mother Works at the Capitol?

Your mother’s name is Rep. Sam Mims (R- McComb) and he works in Jackson at the Mississippi State Capitol.

Another year, and another vaccine choice bill has died. The only explanation out of Jackson is that, once again, the Nanny State government knows what is best for Mississippi’s families and children.

In particular, Sam Mims has been a vocal tool of the Mississippi Medical Association in helping to kill vaccine choice bills in the past, and again this year, since he is apparently “comfortable” pumping our infants full of twenty-one doses of vaccines before six months of age.

It is in this spirit of celebrating Sam Mims inveterate Nanny Statism that the good folks over at Mississippi Parents for Vaccine Rights produced this video. Please watch and enjoy.

McDaniel: Conservatism in Mississippi

By Senator Chris McDaniel

From time to time, people ask about the governing philosophy of conservatism — particularly conservative thought in the State of Mississippi.

“What do conservatives in Mississippi believe?” they inquire.  “What drives your political viewpoints?” [Read more…]

Alan Lange: Political Entrepreneur

By Ryan S. Walters

The great historian Burton Folsom, professor history at Hillsdale College, wrote a groundbreaking book defending many of the so-called “robber barons” of the Gilded Age, infamous men such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and J. P. Morgan. In Myths of the Robber Barons, Folsom delineates two classes of tycoons – market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs – one good, one bad. [Read more…]

Pseudo-Republican Blogger Joins Leftists in Attacking Senator Chris McDaniel

By Ryan S. Walters

Alan Lange, the founder of Y’all Politics, a Mississippi blog created to support Republicans, has stooped to a new low.  Despite the fact that his blog has been used as a promotional tool for Republican officials and candidates, Lange has made it clear that he’d rather spend his time attacking his fellow Republicans, especially those that are true conservatives, than he has pushing back against Democrats. [Read more…]

McDaniel: Time for an Apology?

By Senator Chris McDaniel

At the core of my political beliefs is an unyielding desire for individual freedom.

As a Constitutionalist, I believe all liberties must be protected, and equality should prevail.  All people are worthy of dignity.  All deserve respect.  Indeed, I’ve spent my entire career defending the rights of others, even when I sometimes disagreed with how they were being exercised.  And that includes the unborn.

But the so-called rights of angry marchers do not extend to our pocketbooks, so we must make our stand. [Read more…]

Trump Courts the Establishment, Some Conservatives Feel Betrayed

By Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

Since his improbable victory over Hillary Clinton to claim the presidency, Donald Trump has begun the process of releasing the names of those he is appointing to top positions in his administration. Political insiders have always seen these early announcements as a key to determining the direction the new White House will ultimately take. And so far, as the earliest names were released, opposition is brewing. [Read more…]