Mississippi's former Governor Haley Barbour's endorsement for Thad Cochran has been no secret.
"The campaign has pivoted from being about the nasty junk that was going on to being about issues," explained Barbour. "And that's a great strength for Thad."
But it was comments by Chris McDaniel that have lead him back into the spotlight. McDaniel made comments in April that the federal government should have no role in education or it's funding. Since then, McDaniel has publicly said Mississippi should take federal education dollars.
"He didn't try to wiggle off the hook," Barbour suggested. "Now he's trying to change the subject and say he said something else. But it's very clear he did not. And this is a gigantic issue because education's so important to everybody in our state."
Barbour points to outside groups as contributors to the dirty politics of this race. Yet, Cochran has come under fire for a recent donation by an out-of-stater. Barbour believes this is where a connection can be drawn.
"Bloomberg was mayor of New York City when Sandy hit New York City and the surrounding area," said Barbour. "He realized that the law that they were going to try to proceed under, Thad Cochran had got passed."
The political action committee Freedom Works has staked signs like these that say "Retire Thad Cochran" along many Mississippi roadways. The question of age and experience prompted this memory for Barbour.
"I ran against Senator Stennis," he said. "He was 81. And by the way, Mrs. Stennis was in a nursing home in DeKalb the whole time. If anybody had ever mentioned it, I'd have knocked their teeth out."
While he admits age should be considered, he says this about Cochran.
"How old is he versus how effective is he," explained Barbour. "And I think most Mississippians are much much more interested in effectiveness than they are in worrying about age."
Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:52 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:52:07 GMT
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