Cruz wants investigation of Cochran-McDaniel runoff results
July 8th, 2014
09:52 AM ET
2 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. Silence DoGood

    Two things I have learned from this:
    – the Tea Party assumes that black voters would not naturally vote for a Tea Party guy – they know they are racist
    – a Dem / GOP fight can get nasty, but a TP / GOP spat gets ugly and vile with cheating and lying

    I hope McDaniel keep fighting this and keeps the conspiracy theory part of the Tea Party in public view as long as possible to have all voters learn something about them.

    July 8, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "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."

    Evidence please. We'll wait right here while you gather it up and bury us in it, mmmmkay? Hurry though or you'll have so very much more evidence to provide come November, right?

    July 8, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. nintex

    @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".

    Like to cite some proof of this allegation? Why don't people know about this? Don't you think there would be some kind of outcry if it were true? Or is this just another tea party conspiracy talking point that only resonates among the less-informed Fox news listeners?

    July 8, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

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

    The only election fraud I can recall occurred in 2000 in the good ole boy state of FL and it all worked out in the GOP's favor. Ole W and his bro really did their thing.

    July 8, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Luc

    I am a Canadian and I am very glad that Cruz is in the US Senate. He wouldn't last 2 minutes up here our voters would LOL at him for his crap. How is Cruz going to run for POTUS he was born here in Canada. Where is Donald Trump when you need him. It will be funny to find out if Trump will offer up Cruz's Canadian birth certificate to the press when and if he runs for POTUS. Keep Cruz he is yours forever thank god.

    July 8, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. rs

    The GOP needs to take a really close look at Mr. Cruz. Doing an investigation, in Congress, on the effect of Mississippi's "open Primary" law on the turn out in their recent primary will reveal much about Republican chicanery, and their battling candidate- especially the racist lunatic McDaniel.

    Is that really a good plan? Well, I mean it will be great for the Democrats, but really, who is Cruz hoping to help or hurt here? I see nothing positive in this for the GOP. The Mississippi law legally did what it was supposed to- keep the kook out of the election, and it did just that.

    July 8, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. steve

    A politician calling what other politicians did" unprincipled and wrong." Wow.

    July 8, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. rs

    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.
    ______________________
    Sorry, champ- "open Primary" means that people from all walks, political persuasions and even races get to vote in open primary elections LEGALLY. Cochran specifically invited Democrats to select between he and McDaniel. There IS no fraud as the state's law is currently interpreted.

    July 8, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. American Worker

    The RNC and DNC are two sororities that the establishment controls.

    They will cross their sorority loyalist over to keep their choice for power and control in place.

    July 8, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Joe

    Vintage CLOWN CRUZ stuff.

    July 8, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Lily

    Cruz wanted McDaniel very badly to join the Senate so that they can make more troubles together. People have already said. No thanks to McDaniel. They will raise their voices even higher come November. Trouble makers are not wanted.

    July 8, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Tired of idiots

    Ted needs to be a good sport. He needs to learn to accept defeat. He is going to need to master that lesson as he will NOT be re-elected.

    July 8, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    "Instead, the ads they ran were racially charged"
    -----------------------------
    Isn't that the republican way? Kicks rocks Rafael and go back to Canada.

    July 8, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Bill from GA

    Maybe the Dems should look into Thad Cochran's methods and see if THEY can find a way to motivate minority voters in non-presidential elections.

    July 8, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    rs

    The GOP needs to take a really close look at Mr. Cruz. Doing an investigation, in Congress, on the effect of Mississippi's "open Primary" law on the turn out in their recent primary will reveal much about Republican chicanery, and their battling candidate- especially the racist lunatic McDaniel.

    Is that really a good plan? Well, I mean it will be great for the Democrats, but really, who is Cruz hoping to help or hurt here? I see nothing positive in this for the GOP. The Mississippi law legally did what it was supposed to- keep the kook out of the election, and it did just that.
    ------------------------
    Cruz is a clever man who only serves Cruz and his masters. I agree with you. At face value, there is nothing here for Cruz to do or gain. But, there is one thing that he can use here, and that's face time. I think Cruz just wants to tee himself up for criticism so that he can play the victim card to his base.

    July 8, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Boomer in Mo

    Of course he does. Anything to get in front of the cameras. Anyone else think he always looks like he just threw up and hasn't rinsed his mouth out yet? I find him truly ugly.

    July 8, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Tea Party sore losers should stop pointing fingers at minorities who voted in the primary. If they don't want an open primary, work to change the election laws.

    July 8, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    American Worker

    The RNC and DNC are two sororities that the establishment controls.
    They will cross their sorority loyalist over to keep their choice for power and control in place.
    ---------------------------
    [Character Mode ON]
    I see that you're talking to your libertarian base.
    Most folks think you're talking like you're from outer space.
    [Character Mode OFF]

    July 8, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. david saint

    lol as the old song goes, "cry cry cry"

    July 8, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Luc says:
    July 8, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm
    I am a Canadian and I am very glad that Cruz is in the US Senate. He wouldn’t last 2 minutes up here our voters would LOL at him for his crap. How is Cruz going to run for POTUS he was born here in Canada. Where is Donald Trump when you need him. It will be funny to find out if Trump will offer up Cruz’s Canadian birth certificate to the press when and if he runs for POTUS. Keep Cruz he is yours forever thank god.

    Don't hold your breath waiting on Trump the chump to say a word Luc. You see Turd has one thing going for him that President Obama didn't...... It ain't happening.. And btw why don't you want Cruz back?? Come on Luc take your fellow country man back...☺️☺️☺️

    July 8, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Bigwilliestyles

    Cruz being anywhere near any government function is appalling.

    July 8, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. jd

    Oh Goody. I hope he does enter the fight for McDaniel and McDaniel wins his lawsuit. That way the door for another Democratic Senator in DC will be opened since the Mississippi Democrat and Independent voters won't vote for a person of the Extremist branch of the Republican Party.

    July 8, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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