GOP Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi had already commented about Eric Cantor’s stunning primary loss earlier this week. So why did he appear unaware of the outcome when asked about it on Thursday?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the six-term senator said in an interview with Fox News, when asked about the race. “What happened in Virginia?”
A spokesman for Cochran said the senator “had been asked that question repeatedly and answered it repeatedly.”
“He felt it was time to move on from the subject,” Jordan Russell said, implying the senator was being sarcastic.
Cochran, who has own tea party insurgency to face in a runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel, insisted in the Fox News interview that he didn’t know about the results.
“Well I haven’t really followed that campaign very closely at all,” he added.
Cantor announced Wednesday he would step down from position as House majority leader at the end of July, and House Republicans will vote next week on his replacement.
What did Cochran have to say about Cantor’s loss to a little known and underfunded challenger?
“Yeah well it happens. You know members of Congress, some win some lose. It’s not an automatic proposition that you get re-elected just because you’ve done a good job,” Cochran said.
But Cochran had made previous statements about Cantor’s loss the day before the Fox News interview, proving that Cochran was indeed aware of the primary upset.
“I, like a lot of people, were surprised by the margin of victory for his opponent, but that happens in politics,” Cochran said, according to Mississippi News Now.
“So, what else is new in politics, and some people win, some people lose,” Cochran told local reporters on Wednesday, reacting to Cantor’s defeat.
Cochran’s apparent sarcasm comes as he’s been accused of being out of touch with the tea party.
Back in February, Cochran told reporters he “didn’t know much” about the conservative movement.
“The tea party is something I don’t really know a lot about,” Cochran said in February.
Cochran and McDaniel are headed for a runoff election on June 24, after neither candidate clinched 50% of votes in the June 3 primary.