The Hill: Some GOPers blame Lott

TheHill.com - Some blame Lott for tough GOP defeat in Mississippi - House GOP leaders have taken the blame for last week’s devastating loss in Mississippi, but in some Republican circles the real culprit is former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss). Lott created the House opening by opting to leave Congress late last year before tougher lobbying restrictions went into effect. After his departure, Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) was appointed to serve out Lott’s unexpired term, which created the need for the special election to fill Wicker’s seat. Republicans were irked that Lott would retire early just to serve his own financial interests. Lott also bucked his own Mississippi congressional colleagues by supporting Greg Davis, the Southaven mayor and former state legislator who lost to Democrat Travis Childers. The rest of the delegation backed former Tupelo mayor and former Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Chairman Glenn McCullough Jr. The senior statesman’s decision to go against his delegation contributed to a bruising, hard-fought primary runoff that left Mississippi GOP voters divided — and, quite possibly, left the stronger general-election candidate on the sidelines. One GOP lobbyist on K Street also cited Lott’s $200,000 gift to his alma mater, the University of Mississippi, as contributing to the perception that he’s not doing everything he can to help House Republican reelection efforts. That money, the source said, would have been better spent on contributions to GOP campaigns across the country.

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