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WATCH: Mike Espy Says to Cindy Hyde-Smith: ‘ I Don’t Know What’s in Your Heart — But We All Know What Came Out of Your Mouth’

mike espy, cindy hyde-smith, mississippi senate debate, public hanging comments

Former Congressman Mike Espy (D-MS) ripped into incumbent Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) Tuesday night over racially-charged remarks Hyde-Smith made during a campaign stop right before the midterm elections.

During a closed-door debate between Espy and Hyde-Smith, who face a runoff election for U.S. Senate on November 27, Espy said Hyde-Smith gave their state “another black eye” when Hyde-Smith joked to a supporter: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

After the video surfaced, Hyde-Smith quickly whined that what she said had been taken out of context. There was, as yet, no humility.

“I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement,” Hyde-Smith said in a statement Sunday. “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.”

On Tuesday, Hyde-Smith attempted to downplay her remarks by insisting that her words were
“twisted” and “turned into a weapon to be used against me.”

Reading from a piece of paper, Hyde-Smith reluctantly said: “I certainly apologize.”

Espy wasn’t buying it.

“No one twisted your comments because the comments were live,” Espy rebutted. “They came out of your mouth. I don’t know what’s in your heart — but we all know what came out of your mouth, and it went viral within in the first three minutes around the world.”

Watch the whole debate below. The exchange begins at 14:30.

Espy’s fiery rebuke was well-received on Twitter.

Hyde-Smith’s forced apology was not.

The fact that Hyde-Smith had a pre-written apology came across as disingenuous.

Espy continued:

“It’s caused our state harm. It’s given our state another black eye that we don’t need. It’s just rejuvenated old stereotypes that we don’t need anymore. We have companies like Walmart that wrote to you today and told you that your comments did not reflect the values of that company.”

When asked to reply, Hyde-Smith blamed Espy for the backlash sparked by her public hanging gaffe and then doubled-down on her words being “twisted.”

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    Brandon Gage

    Political Writer

    Brandon began his writing career in a hospital bed in July, 2017. His mission is to provide insight ... keep reading