Chaos Consumes Cochran Campaign Conference Call

A call with reporters organized by Thad Cochran’s campaign is hijacked by Chris McDaniel supporters.

Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel of Mississippi
National Journal
Andrea Drusch
July 2, 2014, 1:17 p.m.

Sen. Thad Co­chran’s cam­paign has one thing to say after its na­tion­al press call Wed­nes­day was hi­jacked by sup­port­ers of state Sen. Chris McDaniel: See what we mean?

Co­chran cam­paign ad­viser Aus­tin Bar­bour can­celled an af­ter­noon press call about 10 minutes in after a caller kept in­ter­rupt­ing to ask why Co­chran was “har­vest­ing black votes like black people har­vest­ing cot­ton.” 

After sev­er­al re­quests to hold ques­tions for the end, Bar­bour an­nounced that na­tion­al me­dia was wel­come to call with any ques­tions, but he could no longer go on.

The un­muted callers quickly dove in­to a rant, with many claim­ing to be McDaniel sup­port­ers. In­struc­tions on how to join the call were tweeted out by self-pro­claimed “re­search­er, journ­al­ist, au­thor, skep­tic, de­bunker” Chuck John­son, whom many on the call claimed to know.

One skep­tic who re­mained on the phone sug­ges­ted that Co­chran’s cam­paign had planted the un­ruly caller them­selves. An­oth­er sug­ges­ted it was Barack Obama who had called. Someone else left on the line began play­ing Obama voi­ceovers.

Sev­er­al callers sug­ges­ted that McDaniel sup­port­ers hang up since they didn’t know who might be on the line. It was a pres­ci­ent sug­ges­tion.

To Co­chran spokes­man Jordan Rus­sell, the chaos amoun­ted to a de-facto mis­sion ac­com­plished. “The plus side of that epis­ode is now the na­tion­al me­dia sees what type of people we have to deal with day to day,” he tweeted.

Co­chran un­ex­pec­tedly de­feated McDaniel in a run­off race between the two men last week, in part be­cause the six-term sen­at­or per­suaded black voters to sup­port him. McDaniel — who has yet to con­cede de­feat — and his sup­port­ers have called that tac­tic foul play and threatened leg­al ac­tion to over­turn the res­ults. 

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