GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith jokes about attending 'a public hanging'

Mississippi senator Cindy Hyde Smith releases statement on ‘public hanging’ comment

Many critics of the comments pointed to Mississippi's long history of racism and noted that the state had the highest rate of lynchings of African Americans in the country during the Jim Crow era, according to a report by the Equal Justice Initiative.

Mike Espy, Hyde-Smith's opponent in the upcoming November 27 runoff election sent out a statement late Sunday afternoon regarding the video.

"If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row", Republican Sen. "In referencing the one who invited me, I used an exaggerated expression of regard, and any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous", she said. Neighboring Monroe county witnessed 14.

Hyde-Smith made the remark at a November 2 event in Tupelo, Mississippi with cattle rancher Colin Hutchinson, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

Seven years later he broke another glass ceiling, becoming the first African American to hold the position of USA agriculture secretary, under Bill Clinton.

"We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgment to represent the people of our state", he said in a statement to The Washington Post.

In the 10 second clip, Hyde-Smith can be heard speaking to a small group in front of a statue of Elvis Presley in Presley's hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi. He said it yet again proved "how Trump has created a climate that normalizes hateful, racist rhetoric from political candidates".

"Cindy Hyde-Smith's comments are reprehensible", Espy campaign spokesman Danny Blanton said in a statement Sunday. Whoever wins the runoff election on November 27 gets the final two years of Cochran's term.

Hyde-Smith and Espy were the top performers on Election Day, but neither candidate garnered 50 percent of the vote, triggering a runoff.

Hyde-Smith became the first woman to represent MS in Congress after being appointed in April to replace Thad Cochran, who had to step down because of health problems. He said that source received it from the person who shot the video.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson drew a parallel from Hyde-Smith's remarks to President Donald Trump.

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