Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Espy campaign respond to video of her joking about voter suppression
“Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult.”
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and the Espy campaign are responding to a new video that has surfaced of Hyde-Smith making comments allegedly regarding voter suppression.
Lamar White Jr., the same man who released the first viral video of Sen. Hyde-Smith, tweeted a second video of a campaign stop in Starkville.
“And then they remind me, that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don’t want to vote,” she says in the recording. “Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult.”
White later tweeted that the video was actually filmed in Starkville on Nov. 3.
Melissa Scallan, spokeswoman for Sen. Hyde-Smith’s campaign, released a statement saying:
"Obviously Sen. Hyde-Smith was making a joke and clearly the video was selectively edited. Now the liberal media wants to talk about anything other than Mike Espy’s record of corruption and taking $750,000 - and lying about it - from an African dictator now charged with war crimes, including murder, rape and torture.”
Danny Blanton, communications director for the Espy for Senate campaign, responded with the following statement:
“For a state like Mississippi, where voting rights were obtained through sweat and blood, everyone should appreciate that this is not a laughing matter. Mississippians deserve a senator who represents our best qualities, not a walking stereotype who embarrasses our state.”
This video comes just days after another video of the Senator was released where she makes a comment that if the cattle rancher she was campaigning with “invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”
Gov. Phil Bryant defended Hyde-Smith’s comments, saying “All of us in public life have said things on occasion that we could have phrased better. But I know this woman and I know her heart."
Other Jackson political and religious leaders have called for the Senator to resign following her comments.
Hyde-Smith is in a runoff with Mike Espy for the senate seat previously held by Thad Cochran.
Hyde-Smith was appointed to the seat by Gov. Phil Bryant in April. The current race between her and Espy will determine who serves the rest of Cochran’s term, through January 2021.
The runoff election will take place on Nov. 27.
Senate candidate Mike Espy has accepted an invitation from Mississippi Farm Bureau to debate Republican opponent Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith on Nov. 20 on WLBT.
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