Skip to comments.Lott: Miss. GOP could use shake-up
Posted on 08/04/2014 5:25:02 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) says Mississippi Republicans may need a regime change after the damaging primary fight between Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
This has shown the fissures that are there and I do think the party leaders it may cause the need for some change in the party leadership, Lott, now the co-chairman of Squire Patton Boggs' public policy practice, told The Hill during a wide-ranging interview at the firm's Washington office.
He warned that the Mississippi establishment is ignoring the Tea Party wing of the GOP at their own peril.
If they try to just stuff 'em or stiff 'em, and don't realize that there's a lesson to be learned there, it could be a problem, said Lott, a former Senate majority leader.
Cochran pulled a slim victory in his primary runoff, but McDaniel has yet to concede.
McDaniel and his allies have accused Cochran of stealing the nomination, in part by courting African-American Democrats to turn out for the senator. Theyve spent the past month poring over poll books in search of illegitimate votes.
His campaign says theyve found enough to challenge the runoff result in court and force a special election do-over of the race. But so far, they havent actually filed a challenge and McDaniel has yet to provide concrete evidence for his claims.
The state GOP executive committee ratified the results of the runoff, which gave Cochran a 7,667-vote lead, earlier this month, and party Chairman Joe Nosef has repeatedly said Mississippi Republicans are now focused on November.
Some Republicans argue that ignoring McDaniel is the best strategy, as that would allow the party to focus on the general election, where Cochran will be the favorite.
Nosef said that while its the partys responsibility to make sure everyones rights are protected, hes proud of how the issue has been handled.
At this point we have the dual responsibility of making sure everyone's rights are protected as far as any runoff issues, while at the same time preparing for the general election in November, Nosef said in an email to The Hill.
Lott said he didnt believe McDaniels refusal to quit would jeopardize the GOPs hold on the seat, but that it has created some problems internally, within the party in the state.
Ive already talked to some of the leaders that I worked with over the years about how do we deal with that. There is a little bit of a rupture there, he added.
Lott said prior to this race he hadnt seen the Tea Party as a threat, or even separate from the Republican Party in the state.
My answer to it when people would ask me about it was, we don't have a problem with the Tea Party, we are the Tea Party, philosophically, he said.
But now, the former senator says Republicans in Mississippi need to step up and reach out.
While he credited Gov. Phil Bryant (R) for acting as a conduit between the Tea Party and establishment wings in the state, he said more could be done to build bridges.
We have to acknowledge that [the primary fight] has caused a rift, and we've got [to find] a bigger way to deal with it, Lott added.
He was active in the primary on Cochrans behalf, endorsing him and appearing in ads for the senator.
Lott left the Senate before the Tea Partys rise and in many ways seems like the kind of establishment figure who would be a target of the grassroots movement.
Yet the business-friendly Lott who went on to a lucrative K Street career said he always felt a certain kinship to the Tea Party.
Lott said a Tea Party challenge couldve happened to him if he were in office.
I also have asked myself after what I saw happen in Mississippi this very year would I have that kind of challenge? Because I had been accused as someone who would make a deal, or [be] willing to compromise to get a result.
Times are so different. I don't know how I would do, but I do know one thing: They'd have to take me out, because I'd sure go down swinging, he said.
".....McDaniel will unveil the challenge during a Monday afternoon press conference, his campaign confirmed to The Hill, which was announced to reporters last week and teased as an opportunity for McDaniel to announce a major development regarding the results of the June 24 runoff election.
Cochran won the fierce primary fight in the runoff, finishing with a 7,667-vote lead when the results were certified, unanimously, by the Mississippi GOP executive committee over a month ago.
McDaniel has yet to concede, however, and hes accused Cochrans team of stealing the election, in part by courting African American Democrats to head to the polls for the senator in the runoff. He and his supporters have spent the subsequent weeks poring over poll books, looking for irregular votes. They claim theyve found over 8,300 irregular votes more than enough, they believe, to challenge the runoff results in court and successfully win a special election re-do of the race....."
Dang, when Trent Lott is the voice of wisdom for the estabs, you know the establishment is clueless ...
“....This has shown the fissures that are there and I do think the party leaders it may cause the need for some change in the party leadership, Lott, now the co-chairman of Squire Patton Boggs’ public policy practice, told The Hill during a wide-ranging interview at the firm’s Washington office. ...”
Lott’s looking out for Lott. He and his Squire Patton Bogg’s co-chairman John Breaux are looking to capture some clients.
If these guys think we are going to forget this they have another think coming.
Lott says this AFTER his buddy Thad Cochran is renominated.
Well of course, but in this case, his warnings and statements about the Mississippi GOP are correct.
I’ve long stopped worrying about motives all the time .I’ll take a smidgeon of good advice regardless of the self serving nature of it.
And Noah faced a little bit of precipitation.
One of the things I hate is when rinos call us purist. They don’t realize being pure is good. Here’s a list of who they are and want us to be. Pick your favorite in response to what they consider an insult. I’m happy to admit who I am.
Lott is massaging this - milking it; he is sympathizing with the establishment.
So basically, The Hill was looking to print a “Republicans are in Disarray” story with a Mississippi angle to it so they dug up that old crony capitalist lobbyist Lott for some content quotes. You know that is the only reason they are talking to him.
Go away, Trent. I’ve really been enjoying your being out of the limelight. Why ruin a good thing?
McDaniel and his allies have accused Cochran of stealing the nomination, in part
by courting African-American Democrats to turn out for the senator.
I keep seeing this attribution about ‘turning out for the senator’. Why didn’t
McDaniel make an attempt to ‘turn out these voters for his campaign? Does he not
consider them a part fo the Mississippi voting constituency?
You’ve been around FreeRepublic since 1998 and you’re only now getting caught up in the shenanigans of what’s been going on in the Mississippi primary? Oy!
Trent Lott on Ted Cruz: Cut his legs out from under him
Im of two minds, Lott said. Id like to be in the arena and help work something out. But its gotten too nasty and too mean these days. I couldnt work with these guys.
Theyve made their point, Lott huffed. Its time to say enough and move on. Referring to the die-hard tea partiers in the House Republican caucus, he added, These new guys dont care about making things work. Lott noted that in the mid-1990s, he warned then-Speaker Newt Gingrich not to force a government shutdown. I knew it wouldnt be good for us, he said.
I asked Lott if his old GOP pals still serving in the Senate have lost control of their party. How do they feel about that? I inquired. Lott shook his head: That Ted Cruz. They have to teach him something or cut his legs out from under him.
That and maybe to put some distance between Lott, who did quite well with the aid of corrupt MS politics, and the crumbling Barbour machine.
Exactly! This article misses the whole point of the outrage.
"Reaching out to black Democrats" sounds like they were riding My Little Pony to the Island of Interracial Bipartisanship.
They were using racial animosity, slurs and cold cash to lure ineligible blacks to vote illegally after they had already voted in the Democratic primary.
Another “we need to surrender all our core principles to the democrats to get things done. Those tea party guys won’t budge from their core principles and will actually call us out on our records and deal making with the democrats! These guys aren’t team players and are too mean spirited! Why can’t they see reason like Chuck Schummer and Harry Reid!”
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