Catalina Camia, USA Today
Sen. Ted Cruz is calling for an investigation into voter fraud allegations in Mississippi's heated GOP Senate runoff.
'What happened in Mississippi was appalling,' Cruz, a Tea Party favorite from Texas, said Monday on Mark Levin's radio show. 'Primaries are always rough and tumble, but the conduct of the Washington, D.C., machine in the Mississippi runoff was incredibly disappointing.'
Six-term Sen. Thad Cochran on Monday was certified the winner over Tea Party-backed Chris McDaniel in the June 24 runoff. Joe Nosef, chairman of the Mississippi GOP, sent a letter to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann attesting that Cochran garnered 194,932 votes to McDaniel's 187,265 a margin of 7,667 votes.
Cochran's campaign openly courted black and Democratic voters, along with Republicans, to expand the electorate in the June 24 primary after trailing McDaniel in the first round of voting. McDaniel said in a fundraising pitch Monday that he will challenge the results and railed against 'leftist tactics to steal the runoff election.'
Cochran's campaign has pushed back on the allegations of voter fraud. 'As the process moves forward, the conversation is shifting from wild, baseless accusations to hard facts,' the Cochran campaign said in a statement. 'As we have said from the beginning, the runoff results are clear: the majority of Mississippians voted for Senator Thad Cochran.'
What makes Cruz's comments notable is that he is vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is charged with helping re-elect incumbents such as Cochran. Cruz did not endorse either Cochran or McDaniel in the primary.