Celebrity battle on the campaign trail
June 20th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
4 months ago

Celebrity battle on the campaign trail

(CNN) - I'll see your Brett Favre and raise you a Chuck Woolery.

It seems Mississippi's GOP Senate runoff campaign is turning into a battle of celebrities.

The latest chapter: Woolery, the longtime game show host, will headline a bus tour organized by the Tea Party Express in support of Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel. He's the conservative challenger who's facing off against six-term Sen. Thad Cochran in a runoff on Tuesday. McDaniel narrowly edged Cochran in the June 3 primary, but with neither man cracking 50% (there was a third Republican candidate on the ballot who grabbed 1.5% of the vote), the contest moved onto a runoff showdown.

While Cochran is grabbing support from much of the state's Republican establishment and mainstream GOP groups, McDaniel enjoys the backing of many on the right, including many tea party and anti-establishment organizations. One of those groups is the Tea Party Express, a politically active national tea party organization best known for its many bus tours over the past five years.

Woolery, famous for hosting "The Dating Game" and "Love Connection," was also the original host of "Wheel of Fortune" before handing the duties over to Pat Sajak.

Nowadays, among other things, Woolery sends out conservative tweets.

"Chuck Woolery is a Hollywood legend who has been a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility and the U.S. Constitution. He shares a vision for America that compliments the objectives of Tea Party Express and Senator Chris McDaniel's campaign – we need a smaller, less intrusive federal government," Tea Party Express chief strategist Sal Russo told CNN.

"This was a perfect opportunity for him to get involved in a political campaign for the first time. We believe he will help bring a Mississippi and national spotlight to this race to motivate Mississippi voters to get out to the polls and national conservatives to get engaged in the political process."

Woolery's appearance on the campaign trail this weekend in support of McDaniel comes just a couple of days after pro-football legend Brett Favre, a Mississippi native, starred in U.S. Chamber of Commerce television commercial that backed Cochran.

"I have learned through football strong leadership can be the difference between winning and losing. And when it comes to our state's future, trust me, Mississippi can win and win big with Thad Cochran in Washington," Favre says in the spot. "Thad Cochran always delivers just like he did for Katrina."

Favre, who steered the NFL's Green Bay Packers to 1997 Super Bowl victory, was a high school and college football star in Mississippi.

It's not just celebrities and retired athletes who are hitting the campaign trail in the closing days of the Mississippi runoff campaign.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate who may run again in 2016, campaigned with McDaniel on Thursday. And Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, hits the trail in support of Cochran this weekend.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report

 

 

 


Filed under: 2014 • Chris McDaniel • Mississippi • Senate Primaries • Senate Race • Thad Cochran
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Haha...The Has-Been Showdown....

    June 20, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Guns Over People teatards are desperate.

    June 20, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Aww Chuck.... You're supporting the Baggers??? 😢😢😢

    June 20, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. salty dog

    Yikes! Which has been will pop up next, MC hammer .

    June 20, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. salty dog

    I guess I just don't get it, will someone vote for a certain person because someone famous does, think for yourselves people.

    June 20, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    But I thought all celebrities were Democrats.... Except St. Ronnie, his scarecrow, Clint "empty chair" Eastwood, and Ahnuld " I'll hit anything, the uglier the better" Schwarzenegger.

    June 20, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    How could anyone publicly support McDaniels after the types of headlines that he's made recently?

    June 20, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    I thought only Democrats use Hollywood? Guess Republicans will have to drop that one from the menu....

    June 20, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "How could anyone publicly support McDaniels after the types of headlines that he's made recently?"

    In certain circles, things like being a confederate-throwback secessionist and sending staff to mess with voting counts and mysteriously get locked in the courthouse with the ballots for several hours after everyone else has left...those are considered positives. "Taking our country back" is immediate justification for utilizing any means available.

    June 20, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. smith

    Well, Thad got the better on this one for sure. An NFL champion qb vs. an old game show host.

    June 20, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    But... but.... I though all those Hollywood types were "libruls"! What's woolery doing fronting for a red extremist?!

    June 20, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    "....we need a smaller, less intrusive federal government," Tea Party Express chief strategist Sal Russo told CNN.
    ----------
    ............ to make room for all the new morality laws. Then the Nanny Corporations will do the right thing and always be fair and honest. Like Disney movies.

    June 20, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    Rudy NYC
    How could anyone publicly support McDaniels after the types of headlines that he's made recently?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It does make ya wonder – and worry about the future of America, doesn't it?

    June 20, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. CryBabies

    Malory Archer....Less intrusive government and fiscal responsibility....what about those two ideas causes you to "worry about the future of America"?

    June 20, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    @Malory Archer
    Rudy NYC
    How could anyone publicly support McDaniels after the types of headlines that he's made recently?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It does make ya wonder – and worry about the future of America, doesn't it?
    --------
    This future would be the Great Corporate Theocracy of America.
    God forbid.

    June 20, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Gunderson

    Um,Well,
    I see some of you still need your nanny. True it is a Cold Hard World out there, but someone has to do the dirty work. So, you get rid of Wall Street you get rid of jobs. Then who will provide you your stipends? Now you are in charge. Like it? What will you do when you are raked over the Coals because you are a failure as you claim Wall Street is. This comes under the Heading BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT. You don't like greed? Greed is what feeds the Bulldog!

    June 20, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Mark in Seattle

    In two and two. Gotta say I'm disappointed in Chuck.

    June 20, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. Silence DoGood

    @CryBabies
    Malory Archer....Less intrusive government and fiscal responsibility....what about those two ideas causes you to "worry about the future of America"?
    ---------
    I find it worrisome because it is a lie.
    "less government" – allow of rights abuse, corporate take over of our lives, religious extremism take over of our lives
    "fiscal responsibility" – government spending on "good" stuff like wars and corporate welfare – poor taxes can fund it

    June 20, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    CryBabies
    Malory Archer....Less intrusive government and fiscal responsibility....what about those two ideas causes you to "worry about the future of America"?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Believe me crybaby. I DO worry about those things and STRONGLY believe the government should stay out of women's uteri, our bedrooms and foreign wars for which they have no funding mechanism.

    June 20, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    "How could anyone publicly support McDaniels after the types of headlines that he's made recently?"

    In certain circles, things like being a confederate-throwback secessionist and sending staff to mess with voting counts and mysteriously get locked in the courthouse with the ballots for several hours after everyone else has left...those are considered positives. "Taking our country back" is immediate justification for utilizing any means available.
    -----------------------------–
    The saddest part is that the comments by you and the others seem to be the actual truth.

    June 20, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |