Cruz wants investigation of Cochran-McDaniel runoff results
July 8th, 2014
09:52 AM ET
3 months ago

Cruz wants investigation of Cochran-McDaniel runoff results

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is calling for an investigation into the bitter and divisive Mississippi Republican Senate primary contest.

"What happened in Mississippi was appalling," the freshman Republican senator from Texas – a rock star among tea party activists and other grassroots conservatives – said Monday.

"Primaries are always rough and tumble, but the conduct of the Washington, D.C. machine in the Mississippi runoff was incredibly disappointing," added Cruz, who made his comments in an interview on Mark Levin's radio program.

The campaign of state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the tea party-backed challenger who narrowly lost last month's Republican primary runoff in Mississippi to longtime Sen. Thad Cochran said Monday it's building the evidence needed to legally contest those results.

McDaniel narrowly edged Cochran in a June 3 primary, but with neither man cracking the 50% threshold needed to win, the contest moved to a June 24 runoff, which Cochran won by just over 7,600 votes, according to an announcement Monday by the Mississippi secretary of state's office

Cochran's victory was apparently aided by votes from African-American Democrats, who were actively courted during the runoff by Cochran's campaign and allied groups. According to Mississippi law, voters are not required to register with a political party, and anyone who doesn't vote in a primary election can cast a ballot in either party's runoff.

"All of us want to grow the party. But what the DC machine did was not try to grow the party. Instead, the ads they ran were racially charged false attacks and they were explicit promises to continue and expand the welfare state. And nobody has suggested that the Democrats who voted in the primary will actually vote Republican in the general. Instead they were just recruited to decide who the Republican nominee was and that's unprincipled and wrong," Cruz said Monday night.

"These allegations need to be vigorously investigated," Cruz added.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

After the runoff, McDaniel's campaign dispatched volunteers across Mississippi to investigate the results in the state's 82 counties. FreedomWorks, one of the anti-establishment groups that's been supporting McDaniel, dispatched activists to assist the campaign. Separately, a conservative outside group filed a lawsuit in federal court asking for full access to the voting records in the primary and runoff elections.

What makes the strong language by Cruz notable is that in title, he is still vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, part of the "DC machine" that he railed against. The NRSC is the Senate GOP committee which helps Republican incumbents running for re-election. A Cruz aide says the senator has refrained from raising any money for the NRSC since the committee got involved in contested primaries.

Cruz did not make any endorsement in the Cochran-McDaniel primary battle, but earlier in the election cycle he did support some of the anti-establishment groups that were backing some of the conservatives who launched primary challenges against incumbent GOP senators. For most of this year, with the exceptions of Oklahoma and Nebraska, Cruz has stayed out of Republican Senate primary battles.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

 

 

 

 


Filed under: 2014 • Chris McDaniel • Mississippi • Senate • Senate Primaries • Senate Race • Ted Cruz • Thad Cochran
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, its always appalling when you try to expand beyond your base.

    July 8, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "What happened in Mississippi was appalling," the freshman Republican senator [Cruz] from Texas – a rock star among tea party activists and other grassroots conservatives – said Monday.
    ---------------------------------
    I would have to say that it has been appalling, too, but I don't think Ted Cruz and I are talking about the same thing. I think Cruz is referring to black voters exercising their constitutional right to as appalling. I think the reaction and words by McDaniel, and now Cruz, have been what's appalling.

    We also have the case of a conservative making mutually exclusively remarks. The McDaniel camp claims that they have evidence of thousands of incidents of voter fraud. Out of the other side of their mouth they are offering anyone with evidence of voter fraud a one thousand dollar reward. This begs the question, "If you have evidence of thousands of incidents of fraud, then why are you offering thousand dollar rewards for some to come forward with evidence?"

    I'm sure that Ted Cruz is smart enough to notice this conundrum at face value. I'm also pretty sure that Cruz is inserting himself into this controversy so that he play the victim card after he gets criticized for his actions and words.

    July 8, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. O'drama ya Mama

    Thats what happens when states rights dont work in your favor. How do they know these people are Democrats in a state where they do not register by political party?

    July 8, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    This is just one of the many reasons why the public needs to turn their collective backs on the republican party. This clown wants to be the tyrant to all, and all he does is aggitate trouble. He's power mad.

    July 8, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Michael MN

    And if the other guy had won than it was the will of the people

    July 8, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. emskadittle

    the Canadian Cuban wants what?

    July 8, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. sonny chapman

    Them's the rules. Unless you don't like the result.

    July 8, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. rs

    Hello! Cruz represents Texas, not Mississippi. He should mind his own state's sorry business.

    July 8, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Silence DoGood

    Once again, there is no conspiracy. McDaniels has clearly had a racist past by some of his outrageous statements (a picture of a white person holding down a black person is better than one holding down a gay person) and support and membership in neo-Confederate clubs and conspiracy theories ("Obama faked his college attendance") and other stuff that is too easy to find. Many non-whites would have probably showed up to stop this extreme right winger no matter what.

    July 8, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. Long

    Let it go. Cochran will work. McDaniel was a bad idea.

    July 8, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. just me

    But Raphael, investigations spend big money. Public money. You know, just like government shutdowns. Surely you can't be in favor of this. That would be hypocritical. Better run this by dad and the Kochs first.

    July 8, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Bigd

    Not getting facetime at home Cruz ? Other states voting is none of your concern

    July 8, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Ali

    And yet some folks will let this clown take over the Senate. Remember to vote as if your life depended on it, because with this clown in charge it will be. Every vote matters!

    July 8, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. old age voter

    The establishment Republicans cannot let an investigation happen; they would be forced to drop all the Democrats that voted in the Democratic primary and Republican primary and Sen. Thad Cochran would lose.

    July 8, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Sniffit

    "Instead they were just recruited to decide who the Republican nominee was and that's unprincipled and wrong,""

    Not even remotely. In a deeply red state where the Dem candidate may have little chance of winning and turnout for the Dem primary was tiny (in part because people know the Dem candidate would have little chance of winning), it makes perfect sense and is perfectly ethical and "principled" for folks who might prefer the Dem candidate to choose instead to vote in the GOP primary to help the "least bad" candidate get the nomination. It is their only way of protecting their own interests and to make their voices heard in influencing the election results.

    What Cruz really means is that he doesn't like it when voters he doesn't agree with (or who they don't think should be allowed to vote in the first place) actually bother to vote. Period. That's ALL this is about for McDaniels and the Teatrolls.

    July 8, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  16. Dallas

    Sen. Cruz needs to keep his nose out of Mississippi's business. He has done absolutely nothing for us here in Texas but cause us embarrassment and now he wants to take his side show to a national level. We in Texas have to endure 4 more years of him but we certainly don't need to inflict him on the rest of the country.

    July 8, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "The McDaniel camp claims that they have evidence of thousands of incidents of voter fraud."

    Which is already falling apart. The only disqualifier for any voters would be if they had already voted in the Dem primary...if they did, they can't vote in the GOP primary. Yet, for example, it's already been proven that in one county where McDaniels idiot supporters claim to have fond 200+ "irregularities" that there were only something like 34 votes in the Dem primary, making it literally impossible for there to have been any more than 34 disqualified votes.

    Anyhoo, we know what this is all about. No amount of sugar-coating, lipstick or code-speak can hide it.

    July 8, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Imagine that.... Black folks being told how to vote in Mississippi.... Who would have thunk it? Thanks for striking down that part of the VRA SC. How soon before you simply strike down the VRA?? It should be soon right? You're already telling black folks who they can and can't vote for. How soon should we expect a ruling from the worst SC in history??

    July 8, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Greg In Arkansas

    "These allegations need to be vigorously investigated,"......
    If the GOP-TEA folks agree, then how about the loser pays for the expense of the investigation if nothing illegal is found....??

    July 8, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Em

    Why are Republicans so pro-frivolous lawsuits these days? Nothing but more big government from them.

    July 8, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    @Sniffit
    "The McDaniel camp claims that they have evidence of thousands of incidents of voter fraud."

    Which is already falling apart. The only disqualifier for any voters would be if they had already voted in the Dem primary...if they did, they can't vote in the GOP primary. Yet, for example, it's already been proven that in one county where McDaniels idiot supporters claim to have fond 200+ "irregularities" that there were only something like 34 votes in the Dem primary, making it literally impossible for there to have been any more than 34 disqualified votes.

    Anyhoo, we know what this is all about. No amount of sugar-coating, lipstick or code-speak can hide it.
    ------------–
    So McDaniel has already been caught without evidence or worse, making it up (generally called a lie).
    But this will go down in the imaginary American history of the TP.
    Years from now they will refer to the awful conspiracy that cheated McDaniel and was covered up.
    Back on Earth: The racist guy had a bunch non-white voters come out and legally vote him down.

    July 8, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Anthony

    O'drama ya Mama, Republicans assume that black voters are Democrats, because they don't know why black voters would vote for them. It is not as if the Republican Party has done anything for black voters recently.

    July 8, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Revenge of the Red States

    Just more of the same from the Democrat Party, tampering with elections. It is what they do, especially in close elections. It is almost guaranteed they steal 3-4 elections in every election cycle with their election fraud.

    July 8, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "So McDaniel has already been caught without evidence or worse, making it up (generally called a lie).
    But this will go down in the imaginary American history of the TP."

    And CNN and the rest of the MSM will help them by refusing to report on anything that debunks one side of the controversy.

    July 8, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Imagine that.... Black folks being told how to vote in Mississippi.... Who would have thunk it? Thanks for striking down that part of the VRA SC. How soon before you simply strike down the VRA?? It should be soon right? You're already telling black folks who they can and can't vote for. How soon should we expect a ruling from the worst SC in history??
    ---------------------------–
    The Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, already has effectively struck down the Voting Rights Act. Their decision effectively took the hammer out of the law. There is no more automatic review by the Justice Department of new state laws before they can be enacted. States could pass laws requiring poll taxes if they wanted to and nothing could stop the laws from going into effect, except the legal process of filing a lawsuit, which takes time.

    July 8, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
1 2