Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, of Mississippi, is not so great at jokes.
The problem with Hyde-Smith’s jokes is not so much that they are bad (they are), but that they often make her sound like a monstrously racist crook. Last week Hyde-Smith got caught on tape joking about attending a public hanging, and this week there’s video of her saying that voter suppression is good and we should do more of it.
Hyde-Smith told the joke while talking to young people on the campaign trail in Columbus, MS, on Nov. 3, before the election. But the clip didn’t surface until now, when it was first reported by HuffPost on Friday. Here’s the “joke,” per the site:
“And then they remind me that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don’t want to vote,” Hyde-Smith can be heard telling a small crowd of young people outside her campaign bus in a video taken Nov. 3 and posted on online Thursday. “Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.”
As HuffPost pointed out, some of the largest historically black colleges are also in Mississippi, would be nuts if she was referring to those schools in particular!
Hyde-Smith was appointed to her seat when Thad Cochran stepped down earlier this year and is defending it from Democratic challenger Mike Espy and a Republican opponent who’s actually trying to out-racist her by saying overtly heinous things about black people and promising to put the Confederate battle flag back on Mississippi’s state flag. On Election Day, neither Espy nor Hyde-Smith broke 50 percent of the vote (they both had more than 40), so they’re now headed for a run-off election on Nov. 27.
Hyde-Smith hit back on Twitter after the Espy camp seized on the remarks:
As always, jokes: still OK in 2018! But maybe uh, workshop them first so you don’t accidentally-on-purpose endorse a wildly racist tactic your party has been using to win elections for decades.