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Mississippi Senator Under Fire for “Public Hanging” Comment

HeadlineNov 13, 2018

In Mississippi, Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith came under increased pressure Monday as video went viral of a remark she made during a campaign stop earlier this month. In it, Hyde-Smith is seen campaigning with a cattle rancher, stating, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” Hyde-Smith’s opponent for the Mississippi Senate seat is African American Mike Espy. Questioned by reporters Monday, Hyde-Smith repeatedly refused to answer questions about her remark.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith: “We put out a statement yesterday, and we stand by that statement.”

Reporter 1: “Could you expand on it then, why you said it, what you meant by it and why people in the state should not see it as offensive?”

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith: “We put out a statement yesterday, and it’s available, and we stand by that statement.”

Reporter 2: “Senator, are you familiar with Mississippi’s history of lynchings?”

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith: “I put out a statement yesterday, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”

Mississippi was once considered the lynching capital of the United States. Hyde-Smith and Espy will move to a runoff later this month, after neither candidate gained the 50 percent of votes needed to secure the Senate seat.

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