Thad Cochran Attack Ad Ties Opponent To Photo Scandal

A Republican senator unveiled a new attack ad tying his tea party challenger to a developing scandal over a blogger who was arrested for taking photographs of the senator's wife.

Six-term Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.) will face state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the Republican primary June 3. The senator's latest campaign ad mentions the blogger, Clayton Kelly, who took photographs of Rose Cochran, who resides in a nursing home. Kelly faces felony charges while three other men, including the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, have also been arrested for allegedly conspiring to use the images of Cochran's wife, who suffers from dementia, in a political video.

"It's the worst: A Chris McDaniel supporter charged with a felony for posting video of Sen. Thad Cochran's wife in a nursing home," the ad's narrator says, over ominous music.

"Had enough?" the narrator continues, before transitioning to a positive tone to speak about Cochran. The ad asks viewers to "rise up and say 'no' to dirty politics.''

Cochran's campaign has raised questions about whether McDaniel facilitated or was in any way connected to the blogger's actions. McDaniel has denied involvement.

McDaniel's campaign has called on the senator to take down the ad.

"It is shameful for a sitting U.S. senator to engage in such desperate slander and lies," McDaniel said in a statement.

UPDATE: 11:21 a.m. -- McDaniel responded to Cochran's ad with an ad of his own Tuesday, in which he calls the initial hit against him "outrageous."

"Nobody said changing Washington, D.C. was going to be easy," McDaniel continues, suggesting that he's the candidate best-suited to change the political status quo.



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