Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel issued an open letter to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. The GOP primary race has taken a sharp turn in recent days since allegations surfaced that a conservative blogger and McDaniel supporter photographed Cochran's bedridden wife in a nursing home. Here is McDaniel's letter in its entirety:
Dear Senator Cochran,
When I announced my candidacy for the U.S. Senate I told my supporters that I respected you as a man of honor as well as your longtime service to our state. I emphasized that I decided to run for the U.S. Senate simply because we have fundamental differences on some of the most important policy issues facing our nation today.
Sadly, the actions you campaign has recently taken have forced me to reconsider my position.
Over the past several weeks, your campaign has resorted to shameful slander, even going so far as to call me a “criminal” without a shred of evidence to back up these accusations.
No doubt, many political campaigns resort to juvenile behavior when they are down in the polls, but this kind of slander goes beyond childish pranks. It is, frankly, an embarrassment to our great state. Mississippi deserves better than this.
Senator, if you are inclined to cast aspersions on my honor and integrity then I call upon you to do it to my face in a debate forum. (We are both grown men capable of engaging in a spirited debate about our differences. There is no need to hide behind campaign surrogates.)
Many television stations across Mississippi have extended debate invitations to our campaigns and I remain more than willing to participate in any of the debates we've both been asked to join.
To date, you have refused to come home to Mississippi and debate.
Until then, I will not engage either your campaign or the liberal media in their absurd witch hunt. No matter how many press releases your campaign puts out, I will simply not stoop to your level. Win or lose, I’d like to be able to wake up on June 4th and be proud of the primary campaign I ran on behalf of Mississippi. Trailing in the polls, your campaign has made it apparent they will say and do anything to win.
Instead, we will continue to talk to voters about the issues they care about. And we will also continue to educate voters on your record, including your votes to fund Obamacare, your support for tax increases, your many votes to increase your own pay, and your support for billions of dollars in wasteful spending like the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska.
These are legitimate issues and these are the kind of policy differences this campaign should be about.
Chris McDaniel Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate from Mississippi