A video released Thursday shows GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) talking about making voting “a little more difficult” for liberal students, a comment that comes as she prepares to face Democrat Mike Espy in Mississippi’s runoff election.
“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,” Hyde-Smith appears to say to a group of supporters at a campaign event on Nov. 3. “Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. So I think that’s a great idea.”
Correction: Video WAS taken in Starkville on 11/03, which is what I had initially reported. There was some confusion, because apparently, Sen. Hyde-Smith has a talent for saying things like this often. @GanucheauAdam
— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) November 15, 2018
“Obviously Sen. Hyde-Smith was making a joke and clearly the video was selectively edited,” Hyde-Smith campaign spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said in a statement.
Danny Blanton, a spokesman for Espy’s campaign, called Hyde-Smith a “walking stereotype who embarrasses our state.”
“For a state like Mississippi, where voting rights were obtained through sweat and blood, everyone should appreciate that this is not a laughing matter,” Blanton said in a statement.
The latest video comes just days after Hyde-Smith received widespread backlash after saying she would sit “front row” at a “public hanging” in a state that has a history of lynchings and a significant African American population.
"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. pic.twitter.com/0a9jOEjokr
— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) November 11, 2018
Hyde-Smith said in a statement soon after the remark was posted that she “referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement” and “used an exaggerated expression of regard.”