POLITICS: Campaigns

Endorsements help Tea Party Senate candidate shake off photo scandal in bid to upset Thad Cochran

Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Mississippi,2014 Elections,Campaigns,Thad Cochran

A string of late endorsements may be helping Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party candidate challenging Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., shake off the side effects of a photo scandal involving one of his supporters, with the latest endorsement coming from the father of one of McDaniel's most relentless opponents.

Jeppie Barbour, whose son Henry Barbour is running the super PAC boosting Cochran's campaign, endorsed McDaniel.

“I am for McDaniel because Congress spends too much money and Thad Cochran is right in the middle of spending and borrowing money,” Jeppie Barbour told Breitbart News.

Jeppie Barbour's brother, former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss., also has supported Cochran.

"Sen. Cochran is such a gentleman that he would not be inclined to ever talk about his opponent," Henry Barbour said to explain why he formed Mississippi Conservatives in a Politico interview. It seemed important that we put together an independent group that would expose Chris McDaniel's record.”

Jeppie Barbour told Breitbart that his family is "pretty mad" over the endorsement, although it's plausible that the endorsement is an attempt by the Barbour clan to build a bridge to McDaniel in the event that he wins the tight race.

On the other hand, "Jeppie has been known to zig when other Barbours zag," according to the Clarion-Ledger. "For instance, he worked on gubernatorial candidate Dave Dennis' campaign when Henry supported Gov. Phil Bryant."

In any case, the endorsement helps McDaniel in perhaps the most important task he has during the final week of a close election: presenting a positive Image to the electorate so that undecideds -- voters who are not committed to Cochran despite how well they know the six-term senator -- can conclude he is a safe alternative on election day.

Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum also announced his support for McDaniel. "He is a proven conservative who will be guided by the U.S. Constitution as he votes on issues before the U.S. Senate," Santorum said of McDaniel. "He is particularly focused on finding ways to restore the American dream for blue collar Americans."

Sarah Palin released a radio ad on McDaniel's behalf Tuesday.

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