HALEY BARBOUR: Cochran’s foes don’t know Pascagoula from Pontotoc

In rebuttal to Chris Chocola’s March 18th op. ed. in the Sun Herald, former Gov. Haley Barbour wrote Cochran’s foes don’t know Pascagoula from Pontotoc.

Stating that Chocola’s opinion was full of half-truths and hypocrisy, Barbour started with his own.  Barbour states “I expected as much when I read the headline, ‘Thad Cochran is a liberal'” when the headline actually said, “Thad Cochran has a liberal record.”

That aside, Gov. Barbour brings out the following points:

  • Chocola (U.S. Representative for Indiana from 2003-2007) voted for every debt ceiling increase that Thad Cochran voted for during that time.
  • Club for Growth helped oust then Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) in the 2012 Republican Primary which was ultimately filled by a Democrat in the General Election.
  • Sen. Cochran had out-dated disaster assistance laws updated after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Sen. Cochran has voted against Obamacare every chance a bill came to the Senate floor.  Chocola claimed that Cochran’s vote to reopen the federal government was a vote for Obamacare.

Barbour’s op.ed. is finished with the following:

[Sen. Cochran]  was the giant who stood tall and produced for our state at our greatest hour of need after Katrina. . . The great news is Thad is line to be chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee if Republicans win control of the Senate. . . He will again be able to ensure Mississippi [is] treated fairly and the runaway spending of the Obama Administration is stopped. . .

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CHRIS CHOCOLA: Thad Cochran has a liberal record in the U.S. Senate

In an op. ed. for the Sun Herald, former Indiana congressman and President of Club for Growth Chris Chocola painted Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) as having a liberal record during his 42 years serving in Washington, DC.  He cites the American Conservative Union as having given Cochran the lowest conservative rating in Congress during the Obama era.

While some assertions are misleading (Mississippi receives more federal dollars than it sends to Washington so it is not reasonable to say that Mississippi tax dollars go to other states), the principles are right on target.  For every dollar in pork Sen. Cochran has brought to the state, he has voted to send many more dollars of pork to other states to receive those states’ Senators’ support for his pork.  Chocola writes,

A lot is made about projects in Mississippi that Thad Cochran got federal money for. What his supporters (many of whom are lobbyists who are paid to get politicians like Cochran to appropriate money for one project or another) fail to mention is that for every building in Mississippi Sen. Cochran voted for, he also had to vote to spend Mississippi tax dollars on things like a Woodstock Museum in New York or a Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Oklahoma or a Lobster Institute in Maine. All of which, like Sen. Cochran’s pork projects, received millions of dollars paid for by Mississippi taxpayers.

In the words of Milton Friedman, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  And the U.S. has a $17 Trillion dollar credit card bill to show for it.

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