Mississippi senator praises man with 'public hanging' remark

Mississippi senator praises man with 'public hanging' remark
Posted at 5:24 PM, Nov 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-11 18:24:11-05

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A newly published video shows a white Republican U.S. senator in Mississippi praising someone by saying: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row."

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said Sunday her Nov. 2 remark was "exaggerated expression of regard" for someone who invited her to speak and "any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous."

Hyde-Smith faces a black Democratic challenger, Mike Espy, in a Nov. 27 runoff.

Espy campaign spokesman Danny Blanton calls Hyde-Smith's remark "reprehensible."

Mississippi has a history of racially motivated lynchings of black people.

The runoff winner gets the final two years of a term started by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who retired in April.

The publisher of The Bayou Brief posted the video Sunday on social media.