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McDaniel says he might and Breitbart all but says, hope so

Chris McDaniel addresses his supporters after falling behind in a heated GOP primary runoff election against incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran on June 24, 2014.
Chris McDaniel addresses his supporters after falling behind in a heated GOP primary runoff election against incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran on June 24, 2014. AP File

It’s not the call a senatorial spokesman longs for: Matthew Boyle of Breitbart on line 1.

Yes, that Matthew Boyle. Author of “Threats, Bribes and the KKK: The Most Insane Story of the MS Senate Race” and other gems from the days when state Sen. Chris McDaniel was a heartbeat away from toppling Sen. Thad Cochran.

But that was Breitbart/Boyle 1.0, and the year was 2014, when mainstream Republicans sniggered at Boyle’s exposés.

And this is now. Boyle’s old boss Steve Bannon is a major player in President Donald Trump’s administration and Boyle has rediscovered McDaniel.

And McDaniel seems a little bored with the state Senate, where he can do little but cast “present” and “no” votes to remind Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves he’s still there. He had been devoting his spare time to picking fights with liberal women and Facebook.

Then the Republicans in the House came up with the American Health Care Act to repeal and replace Obamacare. Predictably, the measure isn’t conservative enough for the Freedom Caucus, which has labeled it Obamacare 2.0. And even that label isn’t right enough for McDaniel, who quickly began calling the proposal RINOcare. As in Republican in Name Only.

Which brings us to Boyle’s latest. Exclusive — “Amid Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 Push, Mississippi’s Chris McDaniel Preps for Potential 2018 Senate Run” — screams Boyle’s latest all-caps headline.

This time, though, the RINO is Sen. Roger Wicker, which means Wicker spokesman Ryan Taylor has to take Boyle’s calls to try to head off another big-game hunt.

“An aide in Wicker’s Senate office, Ryan Taylor, told Breitbart News that Wicker supports (House Speaker Paul) Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0 legislation even though it does not repeal Obamacare,” Boyle wrote. “He claimed inaccurately in his statement to Breitbart News that the bill does repeal Obamacare. Taylor also attempted to blame President Trump for the proposal, stating inaccurately that it was ‘the President’s proposal,’ not Ryan’s bill.”

Where Trump stands on the bill is a work in progress. On Day 1, he said he was proud to support the bill and hoped it would sail through Congress. On Day 2, he tweeted the bill was “out for review and negotiation.”

Then there was the conservative uprising. Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth, and the Americans for Prosperity all came out against it.

The Club for Growth was a major backer of McDaniel in 2014.

As was Trump.

Can’t blame Taylor for handing Boyle off to Justin Brasell, the campaign manager Wicker has hired because he “is taking nothing for granted in his re-election campaign.”

This, Brasell said, is a different race than 2014.

Indeed. Remember how few experts thought Trump had a chance just weeks before the election?

That’s roughly the same number who took McDaniel seriously, until he beat Cochran in the three-way primary but failed to get the more than 50 percent to avoid a runoff. Cochran regrouped and won.

But it was quite a trip.

And a McDaniel-Wicker race would be too. Unless you’re Brasell.

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

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