Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Mississippi Race: Is Cochran Right Enough?
News & Observer ^ | June 15, 2014 | David Lightman

Posted on 06/15/2014 4:43:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Up in Washington, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is regarded as a reliable conservative.

In Mississippi, angry Republicans brand him a liberal.

As Cochran fights to win renomination in a June 24 runoff against a tea-party challenger, the race is hinging on a brutal battle over whether he’s sufficiently conservative.

Challenger Chris McDaniel, as well as groups based outside Mississippi, are pounding away at the notion Cochran shares the political philosophy of President Barack Obama.

“In Washington, he votes with the liberals on spending, on judges, even on funding Obamacare,” charges an ad by the conservative Club for Growth Action. The group has made what it calls a “large, six-figure buy” to run the spot on state television.

On the campaign trail, McDaniel hammers away at the same theme. “For 42 years Sen. Cochran has not been the voice of conservative Mississippi,” McDaniel told a crowd at Harvey’s Restaurant in this small town near the Alabama border.

Cochran seems incredulous when discussing such charges. “It’s up to them to choose who they want to vote for,” he said of his critics. “If they think I haven’t voted conservative enough pick out somebody who has and vote for them.”

Cut through the noise and the the question is not so much whether Cochran is conservative, but whether he’s in tune with this state’s Republicans in one of the nation’s most conservative states.

Numbers tell different stories. The American Conservative Union gives him a 78.9 lifetime rating, meaning he has voted their way roughly four out of five times since he came to the Senate in 1979.

But he’s averaged 63 since Obama took office in 2009.

Cochran’s recent scores have been “abysmal,” said Dan Schneider, ACU executive director. “It’s not just one vote, it’s a pattern,” he said, with Cochran’s fiscal votes topping the list of outrages.

The ACU’s political arm endorsed McDaniel in the June 24 Senate runoff election.

Even a 63, though, is well above anything anyone would call liberal -- the Democratic conservative average last year was 6.78.

Americans for Democratic Action, which tracks liberal voting, gave Cochran a 20 percent “liberal quotient” in 2012, its most recent rating.

Cochran explained he’s operated as best he can in a Senate where getting it all is impossible. He defended his spending decisions as crucial to his impoverished state, and makes his defense of that spending the linchpin of his campaign.

To many fed up with Washington, such talk is little more than excuse-making.

“I’m looking at this massive debt, and Cochran voted to increase the debt,” said Dannie Reed, an Ackerman activist. “It seems like he’s not even trying to cut the budget.”

McDaniel relishes igniting that spark.

“It’s extreme that he would pander to liberal Democrats in a Republican primary because he knows he cannot count on the votes of conservatives,” McDaniel told supporters in Starkville last week.

Cochran and his backers scoff at such talk.

“Conservative leaders in Mississippi are standing beside Sen. Cochran,” said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. He ticked off a long list, including Gov. Phil Bryant and former Gov. Haley Barbour.

But to staunch conservatives, Cochran’s record has two big glitches.

One involves his long ago votes on judges. Cochran in 1993 and 1994 voted to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, President Clinton’s Supreme Court nominees. He was hardly alone _ Ginsburg got 96 votes and Breyer, 87.

Back then, it was still Senate tradition that absent exceptional circumstances, a president is entitled to his team. Cochran did vote against both Obama Supreme Court nominees.

His opponents’ other complaint involve recent spending and debt votes.

Cochran backed the 2011 deal that raised the debt ceiling and the 2013 pact to end the government shutdown. In December, he opposed the two-year budget compromise, which lifted some spending restrictions, but a month later voted, along with many other Republicans, for a current year spending plan that adhered to those levels.

Republican Party leaders argue that in each instance they won concessions. The 2011 agreement cut anticipated spending $917 billion over 10 years, and triggered automatic spending cuts, or sequester, if a special congressional committee could not agree on further reductions. The plan got 74 votes.

To end last year’s shutdown, Republicans had demanded an end to the Affordable Care Act. They got a small concession, that the government confirm eligibility of those getting federal aid under the health care law.

Schneider thought Cochran’s seeming moderation evolved because of his status as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has a big role in crafting federal spending plans. If Cochran returns to the Senate next year, and Republicans control the Senate, he’s likely to chair the committee.

Cochran is unapologetic about his fiscal record. His campaign is a daily tour of projects whose funding he helped secure. When asked about his debt ceiling votes, he and his backers say matter of factly that he did the best he could.

“Just look at the record, and you’ll see what he’s done for this state,” said State Rep. Rita Martinson, a Madison Republican.

Few dispute that. But they also see all that debt, and all that gridlock, and are in no mood for nuances.

“I like small government,” said Phyllis Guysinger, a Hattiesburg retiree, “and I don’t like that he’s voted for things I can’t support.”


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: cochran; mcdaniel

1 posted on 06/15/2014 4:43:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

“Up in Washington, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is regarded as a reliable conservative.”

Which tells you everything you need to know about Washington.


2 posted on 06/15/2014 4:44:45 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConservingFreedom

AKA - Mordor on the Potomac


3 posted on 06/15/2014 4:45:19 PM PDT by Viennacon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ConservingFreedom

The GOPe Muppet Puppet.


4 posted on 06/15/2014 4:46:02 PM PDT by Red Steel
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Up in Washington, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is regarded as a reliable conservative. In Mississippi, angry Republicans brand him a liberal.

In Washington, they know that he's a liberal masquerading as a conservative and they want to help him remain that way.

5 posted on 06/15/2014 4:48:20 PM PDT by centurion316
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Steel
Thad is senile!...and "abused" animals in the past.

Surely MS will want better.

6 posted on 06/15/2014 4:49:36 PM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Cochran, like most in the Senate and House are Citizens of Washington and votes accordingly.
In my not so humble opinion, NO member of the House and Senate should be allowed to live in Washington or one of the surrounding states. They should be required to rent rooms for the time Congress is in session and leave as soon as each house is adjourned.
7 posted on 06/15/2014 4:52:24 PM PDT by Tupelo (I feel more like Philip Nolan every day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Up in Washington, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is regarded as a reliable conservative.

Up in Washington, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is regarded as a reliable vote.

Cut through the noise and the the question is not so much whether Cochran is conservative, but whether he’s in tune with this state’s Republicans in one of the nation’s most conservative states.

Cut through the noise and the the question is not so much whether Cochran is conservative, but whether he’s still competent to manage his own affairs.

Why is he hiding? Why won't he debate?

-PJ

8 posted on 06/15/2014 4:54:25 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Please Mississippi, do the right thing and get rid of Thad!


9 posted on 06/15/2014 5:09:49 PM PDT by celmak
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Up in Washington, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is regarded as a reliable conservative.

Which is ok if he was representing Washington. The voters in Mississippi need to decide if he is representing their viewpoint faithfully.

I think the bigger question is if he is altogether sharp enough to take care of his duties.

10 posted on 06/15/2014 5:20:27 PM PDT by Moorings
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lonestar
and "abused" animals in the past.

I though he indicated that he 'loved' animals.

11 posted on 06/15/2014 5:23:12 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Is Cochran right enough? No. He’s not right in the head.


12 posted on 06/15/2014 5:34:46 PM PDT by abclily
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

IMHO, the issue is not whether he is conservative enough or not. The overriding issue is that he is no longer capable of functioning effectively because of his age. God bless you, Thad, but please, pack it up and take it home. Enjoy your remaining years in peace - and take care of your lovely wife.


13 posted on 06/15/2014 5:41:48 PM PDT by Eccl 10:2 (Prov 3:5 --- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

The real question is whether he has enough bestiality.


14 posted on 06/15/2014 5:43:00 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tupelo
Cochran, like most in the Senate and House are Citizens of Washington and votes accordingly. In my not so humble opinion, NO member of the House and Senate should be allowed to live in Washington or one of the surrounding states. They should be required to rent rooms for the time Congress is in session and leave as soon as each house is adjourned.

They also should be paid by the state at the the amount the state designates, not what they designate.

I also think they should be term limited, but I am not going there.

Last, but even more important, is too do away with the frigging income tax and the IRS. Tax breaks are what lobbyists continuously fight for. Go with a tax that cannot be manipulated such as a National Sales Tax or a VAT tax or a transaction tax.
15 posted on 06/15/2014 5:52:45 PM PDT by Misplaced Texan (July 4, 2009 - the first day of the 2nd Revolution!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

No. Next question.


16 posted on 06/15/2014 6:13:40 PM PDT by PhiloBedo (You gotta roll with the punches and get with what's real.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Misplaced Texan

All of what you recommend would be soundly repudiated by the American people who like all these liberal programs so long as they think others are paying the tab.


17 posted on 06/15/2014 6:15:51 PM PDT by Theodore R. (Liberals keep winning; so the American people must now be all-liberal all the time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Does Cochran even spend time in Mississppi anymore??? Even though I despise his politics, Steve Cohen a democrat from Memphis is always seen in Memphis. He advocates for the wacko Lefties who vote for him.


18 posted on 06/15/2014 6:57:35 PM PDT by RginTN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

““Conservative leaders in Mississippi are standing beside Sen. Cochran,” said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. He ticked off a long list, including Gov. Phil Bryant and former Gov. Haley Barbour.”

There you go! Now that’s a list of which all “conservatives” in Mississippi can be justly proud, not!


19 posted on 06/15/2014 7:13:21 PM PDT by vette6387
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Time for old Thad to retire and sit on the stoop


20 posted on 06/15/2014 7:39:25 PM PDT by Nifster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Back then, it was still Senate tradition that absent exceptional circumstances, a president is entitled to his team.

Oh, so I guess Clarence Thomas being a black conservative was considered an 'exceptional circumstance', so that's why all the Democrats felt free to vote against him.

21 posted on 06/15/2014 7:55:17 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PAR35
He did....

BAAAAAAAAD!

22 posted on 06/16/2014 6:45:21 AM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Tupelo

House should be via teleconference, keep the reps back in their district.


23 posted on 06/16/2014 8:09:53 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Follow me on Twitter @Clay N TX)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson