The chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party panned a call from his counterpart in Missouri to appoint a committee to investigate “racially divisive ads” targeting Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) in the primary runoff election against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.
Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef (pictured) called the idea a “publicity stunt.”
In an email to TPM, Nosef said the idea, by Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin, was “not a serious or logical suggestion.”
“Any objective person has to understand that right now, as we in Mississippi both anticipate a potential election challenge and attempt to prepare for the general election at the same time, no good would come out of taking time and resources to ‘investigate’ some advertisements that apparently were done during part of the runoff campaigning,” he said.
Earlier in the week, Martin sent letters to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and other RNC members arguing that a special committee should be appointed to investigate the ads, which connected McDaniel to a supporter who had reported connections to the Ku Klux Klan. The ads also suggested that voting for McDaniel in the runoff election for U.S. Senate might result in cuts to crucial government programs.
That spurred Martin to call for an investigation.
“At this time, I respectfully request that you appoint a special committee of RNC members to investigate this matter and report to us at our August 7th Members meeting before the August 8th general RNC meeting,” Martin wrote in the letter to Priebus.
McDaniel, furiously echoed Martin’s argument on Wednesday, sending out multiple tweets directed at Priebus urging the RNC Chairman to appoint an investigative committee. Requests for comment from the RNC by TPM were not returned.
Since the runoff, which Cochran won, McDaniel and his supporters have argued that Cochran engaged in foul play in the runoff through courting Democratic and African American voters. McDaniel also argues that the runoff was rife with voter fraud. He is currently gathering evidence to try and fight the runoff results.
Here’s Nosef’s full statement emailed to TPM in response to Martin’s call:
The many RNC members who have contacted me view this suggestion for what it is which is – a publicity stunt and not a serious or logical suggestion. Any objective person has to understand that right now, as we in Mississippi both anticipate a potential election challenge and attempt to prepare for the general election at the same time, no good would come out of taking time and resources to “investigate” some advertisements that apparently were done during part of the runoff campaigning. Unfortunately we’ve had many things happen in this race that some day it would be good to look into, but right now as we are finally regaining some order over the process and trying to focus on the general election, the last thing we need is some review like this by people unfamiliar with our situation. It would be at best a distraction and more likely harmful to our general election prospects.