Republican primary challenger Chris McDaniel says longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is "one of the biggest spenders in Washington" and is out of touch with Mississippi.
Cochran's campaign spokesman, Jordan Russell, says McDaniel's statements are "a sign of a desperate campaign." Russell says most of McDaniel's campaign money comes from out of state.
The candidates compete in the June 3 primary.
McDaniel held a news conference Thursday outside the state Capitol, and Russell showed up to respond for Cochran, who's in Washington while the Senate is in session.
McDaniel says Cochran is a "big-government Republican" who has added trillions to the federal debt.
Russell says McDaniel is distorting Cochran's record.
Cochran was elected to the Senate in 1978 after six years in the House. He's a former Senate Appropriations chairman.