Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), who is currently campaigning in a runoff election for that seat against Democratic challenger Mike Espy, joked in a video published Sunday that if a cattle rancher she was campaigning with “invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”
“If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row,” Hyde-Smith said while standing next to Colin Hutchinson. Lamar White Jr., publisher of The Bayou Brief, tweeted video of the Hyde-Smith’s comment Sunday and identified Hutchinson. TPM has reached out to Hyde-Smith’s campaign for comment.
"If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row"- Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith says in Tupelo, MS after Colin Hutchinson, cattle rancher, praises her.
Hyde-Smith is in a runoff on Nov 27th against Mike Espy. pic.twitter.com/0a9jOEjokr
— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) November 11, 2018
Hyde-Smith has been a senator since April; she was appointed to the seat after incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) resigned due to health concerns. The current race between her and Espy will determine who serves the rest of Cochran’s term, through January 2021. The runoff Senate election — the result of neither Hyde-Smith nor Espy earning more than 50 percent of the vote on Election Day — will take place on Nov. 27.
Hyde-Smith’s comment immediately drew harsh criticism, given Mississippi’s (and many other states’) long and brutal history of lynchings and public executions of African American citizens.
Hold up. Hold up. Stop EVERYTHING.
A sitting United States Senator, IN MISSISSIPPI just said “If he invited me to a public hanging I’d be on the front row.”
She just said this in the heart of lynching country.
SHE’S RUNNING AGAINST A BLACK MAN!
— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 11, 2018