Saturday February 13th, 2016 10:26AM

Emboldened after Cantor, tea party crows

By The Associated Press
RICHLAND, Miss. (AP) - A conservative underdog's swift dispatch of Majority Leader Eric Cantor is feeding tea party dreams in Mississippi and beyond in the 2014 midterm elections. <br /> <br /> Deeply conservative contenders across the country were cheering little-known Virginia candidate David Brat's primary upset of Cantor Tuesday as a sign that tea party-backed contenders could shift the Republican party to the right. Establishment-minded Republicans, such as Mississippi's Sen. Thad Cochran and former Sen. Trent Lott, were digging in and casting the next tea party threats as inadequately prepared for office. The next showdown is June 24, when Cochran and his allies are rumbling with state Sen. Chris McDaniel. <br /> <br /> ``The people of this country... have had enough of Washington, D.C.,'' McDaniel told supporters Thursday in Starkville. ``What they really desire is a change. They understand the only way to get that change is to change the people we send there.'' <br /> <br /> He then nodded to Brat's win over Cantor: ``Virginia did that.'' <br /> <br /> The battle for control of the GOP is especially brutal in nomination fights for Senate seats, and all eyes are on Mississippi and other states, including Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia. Candidates and their allies alike were looking to see whether the Cantor loss portends a tea party wave or was an anomaly. <br /> <br /> ``Liberty-loving patriots in Virginia fired another shot heard `round the world as we kicked the ultimate Beltway insider, Eric Cantor, to the curb,'' said Joe Carr, an under-funded Republican challenging incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander in Tennessee. ``We've got a one-shot opportunity to take out another establishment Republican here in Tennessee who has lost touch with his conservative values.'' <br /> <br /> By Thursday, Cantor's name was used like a bad word in Colorado's gubernatorial GOP primary between former congressman Bob Beauprez, the establishment's choice, and Secretary of State Scott Gessler. <br /> <br /> ``During his time in D.C., Bob made many very powerful friends like Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the leading Republican voice for amnesty,'' Gessler said of Beauprez in a race that, like the Cantor-Brat contest, turns heavily on overhauling immigration. ``Cantor put his full weight behind Bob, endorsing him, raising money for him and stumping for him.'' <br /> <br /> Democrats, meanwhile, were watching the GOP chaos with an eye toward whether the tea party might have outsized impact in the November elections. <br /> <br /> ``The impact of the Cantor loss will be scaring Republicans from any kind of compromise,'' said Rep. Steve Israel, a New York Democrat who leads his party's campaign committee. ``They're going to get ever more extreme on virtually every issue.'' <br /> <br /> The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was asking candidates to focus on middle class issues while ``Republican members are focused on their own internal politics,'' Israel said. <br /> <br /> Republicans must gain six seats in the November elections to grab Senate control. The GOP is expected to retain control of the House, but Brat's pounding of Cantor Tuesday ripped open the establishment-vs.-insurgent split that's plagued the party since the 2010 elections. <br /> <br /> The shifting ground was in clear focus in Mississippi, where the Republican runoff for Senate highlights the deep divisions within the party and, perhaps, has far-reaching consequences for the GOP's future. <br /> <br /> In last week's three-way GOP primary, neither Cochran nor McDaniel won 50 percent of the vote. That sent them and their outside allies hurtling toward a June 24 runoff. <br /> <br /> The main issue Cochran and McDaniel have in common: Washington's power. Their views, however, were not shared. <br /> <br /> McDaniel consistently has rallied against Washington spending and pledged to cut budgets across government, similar to a message Brat used to win his nomination. <br /> <br /> To help McDaniel, the anti-tax Club for Growth began running a television ad Thursday: ``Thad Cochran is entitled to respect. He's not entitled to a lifetime seat in the Senate,'' the narrator says. <br /> <br /> But Cochran has stuck with his pitch that his seniority in Washington has been a financial boon for Mississippi. On Thursday, he released a television ad featuring Lott, a former Senate majority leader, vouching for Cochran's influence in Washington. <br /> <br /> ``Over the years, we had to fight for funds and contracts,'' Lott tells voters in the TV spot. He adds, ``Without Thad Cochran, we could lose some of these important facilities.'' <br /> <br /> Cochran is reminding voters that as a former Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, he has brought billions of dollars to Mississippi one of the poorest states in the nation for highways, disaster recovery, economic development projects and university research. If Republicans reclaim the Senate majority in November and Cochran wins a seventh term, he is in line to return to that post and the power that comes with it. <br /> <br /> ``My opponent says he's not going to spend money like I spend money,'' Cochran said Thursday as he visited a truck and heavy-equipment sales center in the Jackson suburb of Richland. ``Well, you're not going to have any roads and bridges.'' <br /> <br /> McDaniel told The Associated Press that such claims are ``scare tactics.'' <br /> <br /> ``I think you're seeing desperation,'' McDaniel said. <br /> <br /> One Republican strategist said he doubted Cantor's loss was based solely on tea party enthusiasm and questioned whether the same results could be replicated in other states. <br /> <br /> ``This was less of a tea party-fueled win than it was a case of a district shifting beneath Cantor's feet,'' Texas-based Republican strategist Joe Brettell said. ``Suffice to say, Cantor's loss will have all members paying a little more attention to the folks back home in the months to come.'' <br />
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 1 year ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 1 year ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 1 year ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S, Cuba to resume commercial flights for 1st time in 50 years
The United States and Cuba will sign an agreement next week to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in five decades, starting the clock on dozens of new flights operating daily by next fall, U.S. officials said Friday.
By The Associated Press
9:35PM ( 12 hours ago )
New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain are emerging
WASHINGTON (AP) — New details about the possible effects of the Zika virus on the fetal brain emerged Wednesday as U.S. health officials say mosquito eradication here and abroad is key to protect preg...
6:22PM ( 2 days ago )
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to help fight the Zika virus
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
10:40PM ( 4 days ago )
Search for Missouri couple wanted for crimes across the South, including Ga., ends with one suspect dead and the other wounded
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
By The Associated Press
9:57PM ( 1 week ago )
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while, buoying consumers, frustrating oil producers
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
6:18PM ( 1 week ago )