When Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2018 she faced a sudden life change with working in D.C. as well as an impending race to maintain that seat once the term was up.

“Well when I got there we were working on the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. “The chairman was Pat Roberts and he was so kind of saying ‘Cindy, what does Mississippi need?’ Mississippi got a lot of positive things in the Farm Bill and I thought that was a big win as a former Ag Commissioner,” said Hyde-Smith.

From there was also legislation passed to funnel an additional $2 billion sent to shipbuilding in Mississippi. This directly impacts the state as well as the national defense as a whole.

Hyde-Smith that ensuring our military and national defense measures are strong is of utmost importance for the country.

“We cannot be viewed upon as being weak. We cannot be viewed upon as any vulnerable situation whatsoever. We are there, and I think we have some good leaders in place,” said Hyde-Smith. She said the push to reinforce the military comes directly from the President after seeing such a decline over the last eight years under the last administration.

This push seems ever more vital after the recent altercation the U.S. had with Iran when military operatives took out a top ranking general associated with global terror networks. When asked of her opinion of the decision, Hyde-Smith said she believes the U.S. Military did the right thing,

“We had troops that were going to be immediately in harm’s way. I think we did the right thing when we could do it,” said Hyde-Smith. She said she feels sure that Congress will be briefed thoroughly with what all happened and how the decision was made. She feels the explanation will more than justify the actions.

“I don’t think the commanders we have in place now would have ever not had factual information to make a positive decision that this is what had to be done and I know we have a President that is willing to do that,” said Hyde-Smith.

While some elements of her time in office have been difficult, she says being a woman hasn’t been a hindrance for her.

“I have been treated so warmly, we have some good friends on the Senate floor,” said Hyde-Smith. She said there can be situations you pick up on when you don’t feel a female Senator got the same respect she deserved on the floor, those situations are very very limited.

“I don’t think the gender issue has been one at all, I really don’t….I just have never looked at gender,” said Hyde-Smith.

Moving into the 2020 campaign Hyde-Smith said people may see she’s a little ‘meaner’ than she was the last time. She refers to her 2018 campaign as ‘going through the fire’ and believes she is more refined on this side of it.

“We are ready for it and we don’t have anything to hide. We think we have a really good record to go out and tout,” said Hyde-Smith. She said she’s taken some hard hits along the way, including the potential gun legislation that she voted to stop because it had not gone through the proper committee process.

Hyde-Smith said you have to be tough to be in this business and the importance of knowing who you are before you’re elected but being able to maintain those convictions once in office is essential.

She stands to face Democratic opponent Mike Espy, yet again, in the 2020 election. Espy previously ran against Hyde-Smith and Republican Chris McDaniel in 2018. He moved on after the primary to a runoff with just Hyde-Smith.

“Of course, we like playing a team we’ve already beaten,” said Hyde-Smith. She called him ‘just another spoke in the liberal wheel.’ Hyde-Smith said he would be the opposite position of her regardless of how moderate he tries to come across.

When it comes to the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Hyde-Smith she has not seen or heard anything so far that convinces her that the President has committed an impeachable offense.

“The thing that frustrated me the most about the House proceedings was how unfair it was to the President, no matter who the President was,” said Hyde-Smith. She went on to say if the Speaker ever releases the articles to the Senate, they will hold fair hearings on the topic.

With President Trump planning to run for reelection this year, Hyde-Smith said he is in a good place to do so.

“The people of this country, they see this for what it is. The radicals are going to be radical and the haters are going to hate. Thank goodness the majority of this country, and I know here in Mississippi, they look at this and they’re almost embarrassed by it [impeachment hearings], as I am,” said Hyde-Smith.

Moving forward Hyde-Smith said the number one priority on her list right now is addressing the national debt.

“The national debt bothers me greatly,” said Hyde-Smith. While a healthy budget and a good economy are wonderful, she said it concerns her that there is not more of a push to address the national debt and moving the country away from that.