A super PAC boosting Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is hitting the senator's tea party primary opponent for comments he made on Hurricane Katrina relief.
Mississippi Conservatives, an independent-expenditure-only committee, will air a pair of television and radio ads throughout the state, criticizing state Sen. Chris McDaniel for saying that a vote on Hurricane Katrina relief would not be "an easy vote to cast."
"After Hurricane Katrina, Senator Cochran fought for us, pushing emergency relief funding through Congress. But when trial lawyer Chris McDaniel was asked how he would have voted on Katrina relief, his response was, 'I don't know,'" a narrator says in the 30-second television spot.
"Chris McDaniel. We just can't count on him," the ad says.
The ads are backed by a $100,000 buy, according to a source tracking media buys in the state. They will air on broadcast, cable and radio stations over the next few weeks in the Biloxi and Hattiesburg markets — two of the areas hit the hardest by Hurricane Katrina in the state.
McDaniel, whose primary bid is backed by outside groups such as the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, is giving Cochran his toughest re-election challenge in 30 years .
The ads demonstrates that Cochran's supporters bet Mississippi's dependence on federal aid will boost his re-election .
No matter who wins the June 3 primary, Mississippi's Senate seat is likely to stay in Republican hands. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the state by an 11-point margin in 2012.
This race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.