Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour disparaged as self-serving campaign appearances by Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum on behalf of state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Thad Cochran, The Daily Caller
"The McDaniel campaign emphasizes the outside celebrities (Palin and Santorum) who are involved in Mississippi to politically help themselves nationally, not because they are trying to help" Mississippi, Barbour said in a statement. Barbour is also a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
He contrasted Palin and Santorum with the Mississippi Republicans campaigning for Cochran, such as Gov. Phil Bryant, Sen. Roger Wicker, former Sen. Trent Lott, the state's GOP House delegation, and all Republican statewide officeholders.
McDaniel's tea party backers represent "out-of-state money, celebrities, and political gunslingers," whereas Cochran has the backing of "leaders who live here, love the state, and want to do what is best for Mississippi, not some national political agenda," Barbour said in the statement.
Palin, the former Alaska governor, was the guest speaker at a Friday rally for McDaniel, while Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, headlined a Saturday event.
Santorum told an audience of 200 that McDaniel would shake up Washington if elected, Breitbart reported.
Both Palin and Santorum urged voters not to be sidetracked by the arrest of four tea party activists
accused of trying to photograph Cochran's wife, who is confined to a nursing home for dementia.
The primary is Tuesday. Mississippi follows an open primary system in which Democrats may vote in the Republican primary. Cochran, 76, has appealed for support from Democrats and African Americans in particular in the tight race, according to The Deep South Progressive
The New York Times' The Upshot reported
that tea party candidate McDaniel, 41, "has a real chance to unseat" the incumbent Republican.
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