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.