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If you think conservative juggernaut Rush Limbaugh is a champion for the Republican Party, think again.
The nation’s top-rated radio host just launched a blistering attack on the GOP establishment, calling it “corrupt” and “reprehensible” for aligning with Democrats to defeat a tea-party Republican in a Senate primary runoff.
On Tuesday night, six-term Sen. Thad Cochran held off state Sen. Chris McDaniel by a narrow margin of 50.8 percent of the votes to 49.2 percent.
On Limbaugh’s Wednesday program, the host flayed the Republican Party’s tactics, holding up a flyer featuring photos of both candidates he said was indicative of the GOP’s efforts.
The flyer states:
The tea party intends to prevent blacks from voting on Tuesday.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Chris McDaniel and the tea party plan to prevent Democrat voting in the Senate runoff on Tuesday between Thad Cochran and tea-party candidate Chris McDaniel. We know the tea party uses Democrats as code for African-Americans.
Don’t be intimidated by the tea party. Let’s turn out for all Mississippians and vote for Thad Cochran. Thad Cochran works for all Mississippians.
Mississippi cannot and will not return to the bygone era of intimidating black Mississippians from voting. We must rise up on Tuesday to have our voices heard on who will represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. VOTE THAD COCHRAN.
“The Republican establishment sought victory via Democrat voters in the runoff, and they got them,” Limbaugh said. “Without the African-American vote from Democrat-leaning counties, Thad Cochran would have lost by eight or nine percent last night.”
“The Washington establishment – both parties – distribute a flyer claiming the tea party wanted to prevent blacks from voting on Tuesday. This, combined with other efforts, secured a turnout of black Democrat voters in a Republican primary that gave Thad Cochran, in my view, a corrupt and undeserved victory.”
“What happened in Mississippi was that the most electable Republican candidate was thwarted by the Republican establishment,” he added.
“The establishment is going to align itself every which way it can against any outside challenger, like this tea-party candidate. … We have a result that is not representative of the Republican Party thinking in Mississippi. The technique that was used and the manner in which this was achieved is reprehensible.”
Under state election laws, Democrats could legally vote in the GOP primary, as long as they didn’t vote in the Democratic primary. According to the Washington Post, only 83,000 people voted in the Democratic primary.
McDaniel didn’t concede and slammed Cochran’s strategy of seeking support from Democrats.
“We have fought too long and we have fought too hard to have a voice in this party, and today the conservative movement took a back seat to liberal Democrats in the state of Mississippi,” McDaniel said.
Ironically, Limbaugh himself has championed a similar operation in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, called “Operation: Chaos,” where he encouraged Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton to keep the former first lady alive against Barack Obama.
But he explained there was a big difference in that effort compared to what happened in Mississippi.
“The Hillary Clinton forces did not join me,” Limbaugh said. “There was no way they were aligning with me or any other Republican organization.”
He also suggested leaders of the national Republican Party are not even interested in winning the White House again.
“This is something that I have sensed for many, many moons,” he opined. “I think the primary thing that matters is the Senate, more so than winning the White House.”
“It is the Senate and those chairmanships and being in charge of the money that seems to have everybody in the establishment salivating – but not to change the direction of the country, not to reverse the course we’re on, but to simply ascend to the captain’s seat of it.”
Despite his unhappiness with the Republican tactics in Mississippi, Limbaugh stressed, “I am not advocating for a third party. … They don’t win.”