The 2014 Senate Republican Primary is heating up. Wednesday night, Thad Cochran made an appearance at the Harrison County Republican Club in Gulfport. Cochran told a crowded ball room that he was committed to what he calls 'Mississippi's conservative values.' The Senator says that he wants lower taxes, have less government regulation, preserve fiscal conservatism, and a have a strong national defense. The senator is upbeat about this year’s primary campaign. Cochran says, “The campaign is going very well. I’m enjoying getting around the state, meeting people, reminding them I’m up for re-election for the United States Senate, and the responses are really good. I’m encouraged. Everybody seems to be happy with the fact that I’m running for re-election and that’s very gratifying.” News 25 asked the senator about recent comments he made that indicated that he was unfamiliar with the Tea Party.
Cochran replied, “No, I said that I didn't know much about the Tea Party, and I didn't. I read newspaper articles about them, and that’s about all I knew. It's kind of like Will Rogers. All he said he knew was what he read in the papers.” Also in attendance were Republican congressional hopeful, Gene Taylor, and Congressman Steven Palazzo. Taylor stated that he wants to win back his former seat because he believes that Palazzo was not a strong advocate for south Mississippi. Taylor says, “Absolutely. He voted with Nancy Pelosi to cut the Department of Defense by 500 billion dollars over 10 years. Then he wonders why the Air Force is shutting down one of two wings at Keesler Air Force Base.”
Palazzo had this say in response to Taylor: “Well I don't know what he's smoking, but we have to remember that Gene Taylor voted for Pelosi, not once, but twice to be Speaker of the House. With that, we got Obamacare, with that we got D.O.D. Franks, with that we have an administration that’s hell bent on cutting defense. I've been fighting defense cuts since day one.” If Wednesday’s comments by the candidates are any indication of this primary season, then it will only get more heated as the race continues. Tuesday night at this time, Senate challenger, Chris McDaniel was live in News 25’s studio. Continue to watch News 25 for the latest on the primary season.