Chris McDaniel, the Republican challenging Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranTodd Young in talks about chairing Senate GOP campaign arm US farming cannot afford to continue to fall behind Mississippi Democrat drops Senate bid MORE (R) in his primary, has already faced scrutiny for controversial comments he’s made on race during his time as a radio disc jockey, though none of those unearthed comments have yet to sink his campaign.

But on Tuesday, fresh recordings surfaced in which McDaniel railed against the prospect of paying the descendants of slaves and joked about the Spanish language, among other things.

And then, just hours later, more cropped up — including a suggestion that “the only thing that could make the campaign more libertarian" for a 2006 candidate for Alabama governor " is a heroin needle in her arm.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The comments, as they pile up, become more of a liability for McDaniel, who’s seen as conservatives’ best shot at nabbing a win against a sitting senator this cycle.

With a steady string of similar statements, they may be seen less as incidents or off-color jokes and more as evidence of the candidate’s character. And character, in politics, can often be a strong asset — and an even stronger liability, if a candidate’s character is blackened.

SENATE SHOWDOWN

MANCHIN DEFENDS KOCHS: Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinKaine shares photos of child detention facility: ‘The real Trump Hotel’ Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Manchin touts support for Trump border wall in new ad MORE, who represents deep-red West Virginia, on Thursday criticized members of his party for trying to "beat up" Republican donors Charles and David Koch — countering the extended offensive campaign Democrats have launched against the brothers, who are spending millions in competitive House and Senate races on Democratic attacks this cycle.

SENATE DEMS ON OFFENSE ON RYAN BUDGET: Democrats ripped the six House Republicans running for Senate seats for their Thursday votes in favor of Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Mark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump NY Post blasts Trump, GOP over separating families at border MORE’s (R-Wis.) budget.

GA-SEN (OPEN): All three Republican congressmen running for Senate voted against Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget — including two who’ve backed it in the past, Reps. Phil GingreyJohn (Phil) Phillip Gingrey2017's top health care stories, from ObamaCare to opioids Beating the drum on healthcare Former GOP chairman joins K Street MORE and Jack Kingston. Many other Republicans who voted against the budget, from the left and right, are in competitive races as well.

OK-SEN (OPEN): Former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon has risen in the state’s GOP Senate primary almost as quickly as he rose to national prominence within the national party, and now trails Rep. James Lankford (R) by just 9 points in one survey of the race, conducted by a group supporting him. One source says Lankford is in fact nervous, but Lankford himself told The Hill he wasn’t worried and that Shannon’s campaign has been playing a “political game” and the narrative that he’s surging is mere “spin.”

IA-SEN (BRALEY): The Senate Majority PAC is out with a new ad seeking to shore up Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE's (D-Iowa) standing with farmers and blue-collar workers following fallout over his "farmer from Iowa" comments. "We don't pay attention to what people say, we look at what they do," a farmer says in the ad.

MN-SEN (FRANKEN): Businessman Mike McFadden, the GOP establishment’s favorite, had a rocky press conference with local Minnesota reporters on Thursday, avoiding direct answers to a number of questions on his positions.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): EMILY’s List, the group working to elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates, is launching a new online campaign targeted to female voters in New Hampshire, hammering Scott Brown on women’s issues. Meanwhile, a new poll from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, conducted for pro-Shaheen League of Conservation Voters, shows her with an 8-point lead over Brown.

BATTLE FOR THE HOUSE

HOUSE DEMS ON OFFENSE ON RYAN BUDGET: House Democratic candidates vying to unseat Republican opponents who supported the GOP 2015 budget on Thursday are highlighting those votes as a key campaign issue.

IA-1 (OPEN): Democrat Patrick Murphy is out with his first ad for his primary to replace Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), a positive spot featuring his family.

LA-5 (MCALLISTER): The storm grew for embattled Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) on Thursday, as both the chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) asked him to resign, after a video showing him kissing a married staffer surfaced. He may have a friend in the Democratic Party, though, in former Gov. Edwin Edwards, who said he “empathize[s]” with the congressman. And there could be a clear replacement for McAllister if he does step down in the old seat-holder, Rodney Alexander, who said he’d be open to running for the seat.

McAllister’s strategy to weather that storm? Lay low.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

AK-SEN (BEGICH): Alaska Senate candidate Dan Sullivan (R) has hauled in $1.3 million in the last three months, outpacing Sen. Mark BegichMark Peter BegichFormer Alaska senator jumps into governor race Overnight Energy: Trump directs Perry to stop coal plant closures | EPA spent ,560 on customized pens | EPA viewed postcard to Pruitt as a threat Perez creates advisory team for DNC transition MORE (D-Alaska) for the quarter. He has almost $2 million in the bank.

IA-SEN (OPEN): Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) announced Thursday that he raised $1.25 million and has $3.1 million cash on hand.

NH-SEN (SHAHEEN): Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenAmerica will not forget about Pastor Andrew Brunson Shaheen sidelined after skin surgery Members of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit MORE (D-N.H.) raised more than $1.5 million in the first quarter and has $4.35 million cash on hand. Meanwhile, Scott Brown, her main Republican rival in the race, started his bid Thursday night.

CA-25 (OPEN): Former state Sen. Tony Strickland (R ) raised $400,000 in the two months he’s been in the race and has $640,000 in the bank for a competitive all-party primary and general election for Rep. Buck McKeon’s (R-Calif.) seat.

CA-52 (PETERS): Rep. Scott Peters (D) raised $455,000 in the first quarter and has almost $1.5 million in the bank, he announced. His opponent, Carl DeMaio (R), previously announced a $410,000 quarter with $1.2 million in the bank.

2016 WATCH

CARTER CRITICIZES CLINTON: Former President Carter says Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonKoch brothers group won't back Stewart in Virginia Giuliani says his demand for Mueller probe to be suspended was for show Poll: GOP challenger narrowly leads Heitkamp in North Dakota MOREtook very little action” as secretary of State to bring about peace. Meanwhile, Clinton faced a flying object, presumed to be a shoe, thrown by a woman at the former secretary of State during a Las Vegas speech.

PENCE FOR PRESIDENT? Indiana Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard Pence'Queer Eye' star recounts his visit to White House Pence knocks Sherrod Brown in Ohio, boosts Renacci Key conservative presses for shield law after seizure of NYT reporter’s records MORE (R) told Howey Politics Indiana that while he’s focused on his job as governor, “we’ve had people talking about” a potential presidential race with him, and he plans to make his decision “sometime in the next calendar year.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“If you are the sexual predator and sociopath who murdered my sister Lynnette and you come to my front door to do harm to my girls, I’m going to use my Glock [pistol] to blow your balls off.” —Iowa Senate Independent candidate Bob Quast in a new Web video