AP NEWS

The Latest: Video: Senator talks on making voting difficult

November 16, 2018
1 of 2

Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi appeared at a news conference at the state Republican Party headquarters in Jackson, Miss., on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, and said repeatedly that she would not answer questions about a video that showed her at a Nov. 2 campaign event in Tupelo, Miss., where she praised a man by saying: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row." Hyde-Smith issued a statement Sunday saying the remark was "an exaggerated expression of regard" for a friend who invited her to speak, and "any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous." Hyde-Smith was appointed to serve temporarily in the Senate after longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran retired in April, and she faces an African-American Democrat, Mike Espy, in a Nov. 27, 2018, runoff. Espy is a former congressman and former U.S. agriculture secretary. The runoff winner will serve the final two years of the six-year term started by Cochran. (AP Photo/Emily Wagster Pettus)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a U.S. Senate special election runoff in Mississippi (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

A newly released video shows a Republican U.S. senator talking about “liberal folks” and making it “just a little more difficult” for them to vote.

The clip of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi was posted Thursday on social media by Lamar White Jr., publisher of a liberal-leaning news site, The Bayou Brief. It was shot Nov. 3 in Starkville.

Hyde-Smith campaign spokeswoman Melissa Scallan says the senator “was making a joke and clearly the video was selectively edited.”

White says he received the video from a trusted source and it was not altered.

White published a video Sunday of Hyde-Smith praising someone Nov. 2 by saying: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff.

___

3:15 p.m.

A political ad uses a 1930 photo of a white crowd in Indiana posing as two black men are lynched in a tree. It superimposes an unrelated photo of a current white senator from Mississippi as text appears: “This is where Republican U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith would like to be.”

The ad on Facebook paid for by PowerPACPlus, a California-based political action committee that’s backing Mike Espy, Hyde-Smith’s Democratic challenger in a Nov. 27 runoff.

A video that surfaced Sunday shows Hyde-Smith at a Nov. 2 campaign event praising a supporter by saying: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Espy and the Hyde-Smith campaign are both condemning the ad.

A spokeswoman for the PAC did not respond to questions Wednesday or Thursday.

___

11:16 p.m.

A black Democratic challenger in a runoff against a white Republican U.S. senator in Mississippi says his opponent needs to fully explain her comment about a “public hanging” that’s causing an uproar.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith made the remark in a video that surfaced Sunday. She praised a cattle rancher at a Nov. 2 campaign event in Mississippi by saying: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

Mississippi has a history of racially motivated lynchings.

Democrat Mike Espy said Wednesday that the comment was both “hurtful and harmful.”

The winner of the Nov. 27 runoff will serve the last two years of a six-year term begun by Republican Thad Cochran.

Espy wants to become Mississippi’s first black U.S. senator since Reconstruction.

AP RADIO
Update hourly