Framing the Mississippi Senate primary as a “clear fight for the future of the Republican Party against the entrenched interests of the permanent political class in D.C.,” former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed conservative Mississippi state Senator Chris McDaniel on Thursday in his upstart bid against six-term incumbent Mississippi Senator Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), who admitted that he was unfamiliar with the Tea Party movement that has put the Washington establishment on alert.
“The Mississippi Senate race is a clear fight for the future of the Republican Party against the entrenched interests of the permanent political class in D.C. We desperately need new conservative leaders in the U.S. Senate who will serve with passion, intelligence, and integrity.”
UPDATE: McDaniel told Breitbart News that Palin’s endorsement will help him and his campaign “end the rule of the permanent political class in Washington, D.C.”:
“Governor Sarah Palin’s endorsement is very important in the state of Mississippi. We Mississippians are conservatives, and we share Sarah Palin’s passion for limited government, lower taxes, traditional values, and constitutional liberties. This is a grassroots movement driven by the people of Mississippi, so there’s no question Gov. Palin’s endorsement will help motivate people to get behind this campaign to end the rule of the permanent political class in Washington, D.C.”
Palin wrote that McDaniel was “just such a leader” who is “in this race not for career, but for conservative change.” She said he “has a proven record of fighting for conservative principles in the Mississippi State Senate” and “been a champion of limited government, free enterprise, civic participation, reduced tax rates, a strong national defense, and a return to the original checks and balances of the Constitution.”
“He’s a proven fighter for the rights of We the People. For example, he’s taken on special interests in defense of our private property rights against the abuse of eminent domain, and he’s introduced legislation to protect our 2nd Amendment rights against federal government overreach,” Palin wrote.
McDaniel said that he was “truly humbled that Governor Palin has honored my request for her to join my campaign in this fight for liberty in Mississippi.”
“Governor Palin is a true champion of conservative self-reliance that so many Americans and Mississippians identify with and admire,” he said. “We knew we’d need help in this uphill battle against entrenched incumbency in Washington, D.C. and we could not be more thrilled to have the governor’s support.”
Cochran has said he was unfamiliar with the Tea Party movement, and he may now realize what that movement is about as Palin, considered the North Star for the conservative grassroots, can galvanize and boost candidates like no other, especially in what is expected to be a low-turnout primary on June 3.
“The Tea Party is something I don’t really know a lot about,” Cochran recently told Mississippi television stations. “It’s a free country. We have open opportunities for people to participate in the election process.”
Former South Carolina Senator and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint has said that Palin’s endorsement has the most impact in GOP primaries. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has said that he would not be in the Senate were it not for Palin’s endorsement, for instance.
Palin urged conservatives to learn more about McDaniel on his website, www.mcdaniel2014.com, and her endorsement is likely to rally conservatives against Cochran, who has been assailed as an appropriator who has not stood up Washington’s fiscal irresponsibility. As Breitbart News has reported, Cochran “has voted on at least 11 occasions to raise the debt ceiling by at least $7.7 trillion over the past 24 years.”
Cochran, who has been described by mainstream outlets as a “seasoned appropriator” who is a “spitting image of the Republican establishment,” reportedly planned on retiring after his term but was convinced to run for another because he would gain control of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee should the GOP pick up six seats in the fall to take back control of the Senate.
Even before an establishment PAC associated with former Mississippi Governor and lobbyist Haley Barbour had formed to try to save Cochran’s candidacy by running attack ads against McDaniel statewide, Palin had indicated that she would be looking closely at the Mississippi GOP Senate primary. McDaniel has also been endorsed by Heritage Action, the Senate Conservative Fund, the Club for Growth, and Freedomworks.
Palin, after promising to start rolling out endorsements for candidates this week who would go to Washington to fight for conservative values, has endorsed T.W. Shannon for Senate in Oklahoma and Ben Sasse for Senate in Nebraska in addition to McDaniel.