State Sen. Chris McDaniel, who's challenging Sen. Thad Cochran in the June 3 GOP primary, sent the Mississippi Libertarian Party a lenghthy explanation of his radio show comments about Libertarians. The response is posted on the party's Facebook page.
Here it is:
I apologize for an email that is bound to be filled with typos, as I am in the campaign bus heading to Tupelo.
The comments were made almost 10 years ago, during a talk radio show I once hosted. To properly understand the context, one must understand the radio show. My producer, Jeremy, is an active member of the Libertarian Party. He and I had a great time over the years discussing liberty issues, and we agreed on most. However, one disagreement we did have surrounded the candidates being utilized to serve the liberty-movement.
My comments during that 10-minute clip were aimed more at one particular candidate than the party. In fact, I defended the Libertarian party on many occasions, despite objections from some on the political right. Like President Reagan, I have always believed Libertarians to be an instrumental part of the conservative family. In my speeches, I often refer to my Libertarian spirit.
I don't have a firm recollection of a show from almost 10 years ago, but I do remember the basis of my opinion at the time. Put simply, the idea of a candidate using his or her body -- more than his or her mind -- was disappointing to me. The female candidate who was representing the movement (the one I was discussing) may be a wonderful person, but the impression she was leaving with her advertisements was more comedic than serious, more silly than principled. In the eyes of many voters, such an approach minimizes and marginalizes a very complex political philosophy into nothing more than a movement of sex and drugs (more libertine than libertarian). Such a direction alienates potential converts, particularly when the candidate is less than professional in conduct and appearance.
Put simply, I was frustrated.
If the liberty movement is to be successful, it must first be in the business of CONVINCING people of its real merits, not SHOCKING people with half-dressed candidates -- men or women -- proposing limited agendas. Its foundation must remain with the U.S. Constitution, not controversial candidates. If the liberty movement is to advance, in my opinion, it must run articulate individuals with serious ideas that appeal to voters.
I consider myself one of the most "liberty-minded" members of the Mississippi Senate, and the longer I serve in government, the more my positions evolve.
Indeed, my record speaks for itself:
(1) I presented two resolutions condemning the NDAA, as well as a Tenth Amendment "sovereignty" resolution which passed the Senate in 2010.
(2) I was one of four who voted against the pseudoephedrine ban.
(3) I was one of two who voted against the texting ban.
(4) I was one of the reasons the public smoking ban failed in the Judiciary A committee, and again later in the Judiciary B committee. I led the charge against its adoption, despite strong pressure from anti-smoking groups. Private property rights matter.
(5) I voted against the cigarette tax, and fought Haley Barbour over eminent domain abuse.
(6) I drafted and introduced the 4th Amendment Protection Act, which was aimed directly at illegal NSA activities. I also authored the 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which would have demanded our state agencies not cooperate with federal overreach designed to violate our rights.
(7) I've taken public positions against the Federal Reserve and favor a full audit, if not more aggressive action.
(8) I'm the only Republican who's ever introduced legislation supported a vaccination exception for parents who object.
(9) I have taken public positions demanding a more prudent foreign policy, including strongly objecting to military interventionism in Syria.
(10) I'm a vocal proponent of Jefferson, Bastiat and Hayek, not central planners.
As you can see, my agenda is about limiting government overreach from all levels, creating an environment where individuals embrace self-government without force or coercion.
And that's just the beginning. My record is actually much more extensive, with my votes and in my public speaking.
Although I am a proud and lifelong member of the Republican party and a two-term GOP state senator, I have always been an advocate of the liberty movement and its intellectual efforts. I will continue to do so.
To allow perpetual statists to divide us on the basis of a 10-minute radio clip from nearly a decade ago is hardly a recipe for success. To my friends in the liberty family, we can either light the torch of liberty together or continue to curse at the darkness. In 2014, we have an outstanding opportunity to replace a 42-year incumbent who has consistently voted to expand the size and scope of government. If you haven't had the opportunity to study Thad Cochran's record, I encourage you to do so. I like Senator Cochran, but he hasn't been an advocate for limited government or Constitutional-Conservatism.
Although we all may not agree on every conceivable issue, I do hope you join me, as we begin the march to restore and expand liberty.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me anytime.
I wish you the best,