While some Republican incumbents with primary challengers are trying to woo conservatives, Sen. Thad Cochran says he's not too familiar with the tea party.
"The tea party is something I don't really know a lot about," the six-term senator from Mississippi told reporters. "It's a free country. We have open opportunities for people to participate in the election process."
Club for Growth, an outside conservative group that's backing Cochran's primary challenger, was quick to push out the footage Tuesday. It turned the soundbite into a short web video.
Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who's running against Cochran, responded to the senator's comments, saying "it's a shame because the tea party is a mass movement of people that really care about this country."
Of the Republican senators facing a GOP challenger, Cochran is considered one of the most vulnerable. While Cochran has a bigger war chest, McDaniel is getting a lot of support from third party groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund.
Cochran's office declined to comment further on his remarks.