Monday in Jackson Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was joined by Governor Phil Bryant as she received an endorsement from National Right to Life President, Carol Tobias.
However, the press conference took a turn when questions from the media were allowed on the recent controversy over a comment Hyde-Smith made where she praised a supporter. Over the weekend a video began circulating on social media in which Hyde-Smith is quoted saying “I would fight (unintelligible) . . . If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” The statement, made on November 2 in Tupelo, has brought a whirlwind of criticism.
While the Hyde-Smith camp released a statement on Sunday regarding the statement and rejecting any “negative connotation” to it, she was repeatedly asked to further explain the remarks.
When asked why she said it and to give an explanation for her words, Hyde-Smith said repeatedly that she had “put out a statement yesterday and we stand by that statement.”
Governor Bryant came to her defense saying that everyone in public life has said things on occasion that they could have phrased better.
“When you make as many public speeches as we do in public life that does occur. But I know this woman and I know her heart, I knew it when I appointed her and I know it now. She meant no offense by that statement, there is nothing in her heart of ill will,” said Gov. Bryant.
He went on to add that statements can often be spun a certain way on social media to create the meaning desired. But the questions did not stop there. Reporters continued to urge Hyde-Smith to give some explanation for her comment and why there was no acknowledgement that there were individuals hurt by what she said.
The Governor continued to come to her defense saying that he knows her and that hurt nor ill will were her intent.
“Remember we are in the middle of a political campaign. Those that oppose Cindy Hyde-Smith will take advantage of this,” said Gov. Bryant. “You might want to ask yourself where the video came from. I’m not blaming the person that took it but it was clearly designed for political purpose.”
Despite many attempts to redirect questioning back to the topic of the press conference, the endorsement by the National Right to Life, it was unsuccessful and was called to an end.
Below is video from the beginning of the press conference in which Hyde-Smith receives the endorsement: