Ryan Walters, author of the newly released book Remember Mississippi: How Chris McDaniel Exposed the GOP Establishment and Inspired a Revolution, told Breitbart Washington political editor Matt Boyle, host of Breitbart News Saturday on Sirius XM, that the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary in Mississippi set the stage for Donald Trump’s presidential victory in 2016.
In that 2014 campaign, he said, Haley Barbour’s Republican establishment political machine stole the election from conservative Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel and gave it to establishment favorite Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).
Walters, a friend of McDaniel since childhood, had a front row seat to the momentous 2014 campaign in Mississippi.
“The establishment Republicans, they’re not conservatives. They pretend to be, but they’re not,” Walters told Boyle.
“That’s where ‘Remember Mississippi’ the slogan comes from, to remember what they [the establishment] did” in 2014, stealing the election from Chris McDaniel, he added.
“We want people across the country to ‘Remember Mississippi,’ and they are,” Walters said, pointing to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election as the most prominent example of that memory.
“How did Donald Trump win the Republican nomination in 2016? That has perplexed the pundits,” Walters noted.
“Why did all the establishment candidates crash and burn?” he asked.
“The anger that was generated in Mississippi, and what they did to Chris McDaniel, resonated throughout the country,” Walters maintained.
As a result, “grassroots conservatives retaliated” against the Republican establishment, he said, and that retaliation has provided the energy that continues to upset the political world.
“Without Mississippi in 2014, I don’t believe Donald Trump ever gets the nomination. But he did,” Walters said.
“If you hear it from the establishment here in Washington, Thad Cochran is the most conservative guy on the planet, yet Chapter Two [of your book] walks us through how Cochran is a liberal wolf in conservative sheepskin,” host Boyle noted.
“Nobody ever challenged Thad Cochran. Nobody ever looked in depth at his record, “Walter said.
“It was far from conservative … he is one of the biggest spenders on Capitol Hill. He routinely won ‘Porker of the Year.’ He’s been for open borders and some of these other deals that are awful,” he noted.
Walters criticized the GOP establishment in Mississippi and how it ruined the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary.
“All of these establishment people, none of them are conservative,” he told Boyle.
“Cochran tried to run on being on a conservative. Later in the campaign they switched gears … Their theme was if we didn’t have Cochran bringing in the bacon, we would really be bad,” but “bringing in the bacon,” he argued, actually hurts Mississippi.
“Pork barrel spending hurts the local economy. Chris talked about that throughout the campaign,” he noted, pointing out that McDaniel’s message in the 2014 campaign was “maybe it’s time to change the players on the team.”
“His idea for running was, let’s see if we in Mississipi are the most conservative state,” Walters said of his childhood friend.
So the stage was set for a classic battle between two competing forces.
“This was really the personification of the divide in the Republican party. It was an ideological battle,” Walters pointed out.
“We believe they [Mississippi Republicans] did make a choice, and it wasn’t Thad Cochran,” Waters said, in reference to the stolen nature of the runoff.
Walters then explained how Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi and life-long power broker, engineered the stealing of the 2014 election from Mississippi Republicans:
This is the most incredible political machine I’ve ever seen, Chris told me. . .
Haley Barbour has one of the most well funded machines. That’s one of the things that drives the corruption in Mississippi. Mississippi has been called the most corrupt state in the country.
That’s how political machines exist. There’s always been one machine in Missisippi, and only one. Chris built a rival organization.
This machine controls the offices in Mississippi. Most politicians grovel to him [Barbour], and Chris would not do it.
The Barbour machine could not let Cochran lose that Appropriations Committee chairmanship.
“He beat Cochran and he beat that team, not once but twice,” Walters said, referencing not the electoral outcome, which resulted in a victory for Cochran by a few thousand votes, but the votes of Republicans in the primary.
Walters then described how the Barbour political machine used what he called “race-baiting” ads and handed out “walking around money” in Black communities that usually voted Democrat during the three week period between the first primary election in June 2014–in which McDaniel finished slightly ahead of Cochran but just shy of the needed 50 percent majority to be declared the victor–and the runoff election in which Cochran eked out a narrow victory over McDaniel.
You can hear the interview here: