Just because Thad Cochran’s old doesn’t mean he’s senile, it just means he’s crotchety.
The 76-year-old Senator came under scrutiny Friday when Fox News posted video of Cochran apparently being unaware of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s shock loss in a GOP primary Tuesday. After being asked, “what happened in Virginia the other day, does that concern you for your chances here in this run-off?” by a reporter, Cochran responded “I don't know what you're talking about. What happened in Virginia?”
However, unless Cochran had suffered a minor stroke or some other neurological ailment in the ten minutes before being asked that question, it seems the six-term senator in a runoff for his seat against Tea Partier Chris McDaniel was just being peevish. The interview with Fox News reporter Kyle Rothenberg happened just minutes after a outdoor gaggle with half a dozen reporters in the Mississippi sun where Cochran had been repeatedly asked about Cantor’s loss and if it had any implications for his re-election. Rothenberg had been present for the gaggle. The Daily Beast confirmed with a reporter who was there that Cochran not only answered questions about Cantor then but had done so repeatedly the day before as well.
The video comes just days after Fox News personality Sean Hannity endorsed Cochran’s opponent, Chris McDaniel, in the June 24th Senate runoff and in the midst of an increasingly dirty campaign. McDaniel has accused the six-term incumbent of being old and out-of-touch while Cochran has tried to tie McDaniel to supporters who were caught in a county courthouse at 3AM on election night and others who were involved in breaking into the nursing home of Cochran’s wife and videotaping her.
Despite being the incumbent, Cochran, whose last competitive election before this year was in 1978, is considered the underdog in the runoff, having finished behind McDaniel in the first round of voting.