Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Bottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future MORE (R-Miss.) may not know much about the Tea Party, but his primary challenger and the deep-pocketed Club for Growth are planning to introduce him.

Cochran told a local news outlet on Monday that he’s not that familiar with the grassroots conservative movement, which has helped produce a challenge to him in his primary election from state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

"The Tea Party, you know, is something I don't really know a lot about," Cochran said during a campaign stop in the state. "It's a free country. We have open opportunities for people to participate in the election process."

He also said he didn’t know much about McDaniel, who has received the backing of the Club, along with a handful of other cash-flush national conservative groups.

"Really haven't looked at his characteristics,” Cochran said when asked about McDaniel. "I'm just running my campaign, based on my qualifications to continue to serve as a United States senator."

McDaniel, asked about the comments, said they go “to show he hasn't been in the state very often.”

And the Club for Growth seized on the remarks, launching a new Web ad that juxtaposes Cochran’s comments with a response from McDaniel.

“Perhaps it’s time for an introduction,” McDaniel says in the ad.