GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) — Republican primary challenger Chris McDaniel puts the nation's $17 trillion debt at the center of his bid to represent Mississippi in the Senate. He's bashing six-term Sen. Thad Cochran as a profligate spender who has contributed to a problem that McDaniel considers "immoral."
At the same time, the potential tea party hero pledges support for Mississippi's military installations, defense contractors and public education system — all of which depend on hundreds of millions of federal dollars.
Such attacks on Cochran for his years of steering federal money to his home state, mixed with promises to "fight for Mississippi" if elected to Congress, put McDaniel squarely in the rub faced by many conservative Republicans. They find it difficult to detail what spending they'd cut to balance the nation's books.