Tags: 2014 Midterm Elections | Tea Party | Thad Cochran | Mississippi | Chris McDaniel

Thad Cochran: 'I Don't Remember Ever Saying' Odd Animal Comment

By Joe Schaeffer   |   Friday, 13 Jun 2014 09:58 PM

The hotly contested Republican Senate primary battle in Mississippi between six-term incumbent Thad Cochran and tea party upstart Chris McDaniel took a turn for the bizarre this week with Cochran's unusual comments before a hospital audience and in a Fox News video.

Speaking at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg on Tuesday, Cochran stressed his family ties to the Pine Belt-Hattiesburg area and reminisced about times spent as a youth there. That's when it got strange.

"It was fun. It was an adventure to be out in the country and see what goes on," Cochran recalled. "Picking up pecans, from that to all kind of indecent things with animals."

The odd remark was captured on a video posted at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger's website and immediately led to a spike in what is now growing speculation about the advanced age and mental faculties of the 76-year-old senator, who first took up his seat during the disco era of 1978.

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When asked by a Mississippi television reporter to comment on his statement, Cochran replied, "I think maybe I was misunderstood …. I don’t remember ever saying [that]," Breitbart reports.

"A local reporter for WLBT, a local NBC affiliate, said Cochran 'seemed confused' when he was asked to clarify the remarks on Thursday," Breitbart's Matthew Boyle wrote.

On Friday, Fox News posted a video with this ominous blurb attached to it:

"Two days after Eric Cantor’s primary loss received widespread national attention, Republican Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran said he has no idea what happened in Virginia."

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When asked in the video whether the historic upset loss caused him to worry as he approaches his June 24 runoff with McDaniel, Cochran stated, "I don't know what you're talking about. What happened in Virginia?"

As the flustered reporter tried to clarify, Cochran continued to express his lack of understanding.

"You asked me what happened. I don't know. I didn't follow that campaign very closely," the senator said.

Cochran also raised eyebrows in February when he was asked about McDaniel's primary challenge and said, "The tea party, you know, is something I don't really know a lot about."

Despite the fact that McDaniel won more votes than Cochran in the June 3 primary and claims an edge on him in the polls, Cochran has received a cash infusion from fellow Republican senators, lobbyists, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee in his bid to hold onto his seat for a seventh term.

Roll Call reports the Cochran campaign has taken in $370,000 over the past eight days with more expected via an NRSC fundraiser that raised $820,000.

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