On a November 2 campaign stop in Tupelo, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was appearing with cattleman Colin Hutchison on a brief public stop.  With his arm around Hyde-Smith, he was effusively praised by Hyde-Smith.  “I would fight a circular saw for him . . . If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

The clip was 10 seconds long and forwarded to Lamar White Jr. who runs a left-leaning non-profit media site in Louisiana called Bayou Brief, not dissimilar to Mississippi Today.  White on his facebook page confirms he didn’t take the video.  He was asked if he had the balance of the video and would identify who provided the video to him, but White did not respond by press time.

"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.

Posted by Lamar White Jr. on Sunday, November 11, 2018

Media reaction has been swift.

There have been stories from the Clarion Ledger, TPM, and New Yorker Magazine to name a few.

The Mike Espy campaign responded quickly to the comment by saying, “Cindy Hyde-Smith’s comments are reprehensible. They have no place in our political discourse, in Mississippi, or our country. We need leaders, not dividers, and her words show that she lacks the understanding and judgement to represent the people of our state.”

For her part, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith deflected the criticism of any ill-intent saying, “In a comment on Nov. 2, I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement. 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.”

We will continue to update additional facts and reaction from this story.

Hyde-Smith and Espy will participate in a runoff on November 27.  Hyde-Smith and Espy are tentatively scheduled to debate on November 20 pending acceptance of the debate from the Espy camp.

 

UPDATED to clarify original quote from Cindy Hyde-Smith as deciphered by the Daily Journal