Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Trump Hails 'Nasty Looking' Border Wire in Stump for Hyde-Smith

Trump Hails 'Nasty Looking' Border Wire in Stump for Hyde-Smith

Like a lot of Mississippi Republicans, Smith seems willing to forgive the senator for some of the eyebrow-raising remarks she's made in recent weeks.

Since the comments, the runoff election between Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in the ruby red state has become increasingly close, with some Republicans fearing the party may see a repeat of what happened in the Alabama special election previous year that saw Democrat Doug Jones defeat Roy Moore.

Trump said Monday at a campaign rally in MS that he is sending the caravan members a clear message: "Turn around and go back home". This included a declaration that she was so loyal to one of her prominent supporters that "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row". She said it was "an exaggerated expression of regard". But she also blamed Espy and Democrats, saying her comments "were taken and twisted and used as a political weapon against me by my opponent".

President Donald Trump urged Mississippi Republicans to turn out for Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was expected to cruise to victory in Tuesday's runoff election before a series of racial issues complicated her campaign.

Trump held rallies in Tupelo and Biloxi. Tuesday's victor will serve the last two of Cochran's six-year term. Thad Cochran (R-MS) resigned in April due to health reasons.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence launched a rescue mission in MS for a Republican candidate on the eve of a run-off election for the US Senate, with Democrats hoping to win a seat in the state for the first time since 1982. "I could go over this, how does he fit in?" said President Donald Trump, who held rallies in Mississippi Monday to endorse Hyde-Smith.

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is looking for several suspects believed responsible for placing a pair of nooses and signs on the Mississippi state Capitol grounds Monday morning.

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While Mississippi is a solidly Republican state, special elections are notoriously hard to predict as they tend to have low turnout.

The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and almost 73% of the victims were black. And at the debate last week, he derided her for "talking about public hangings and voter suppression", saying, "I am not going back to yesteryear".

Still, White House officials have long expressed unease about Hyde Smith and worry that she wasn't ready for prime time.

But in MS, the only state that still has Confederate insignia on its flag, allegations of racism don't carry the same political toxicity as accusations of sexual impropriety that involve minors.

Henry Barbour, the Republican National Committee committeeman and a longtime MS operative, said base voters in both parties are energized, but gave a slight edge to Espy's supporters.

If white voters outnumber black voters two-to-one on Tuesday, Espy would have to win 30 percent or more of white votes, a tough task in a state with possibly the most racially polarised electorate in the country. But they say the appearances will provide a spark to their voters, too. Trump dubbed Hyde-Smith a "special woman", with Sen. "Because I was not guilty", Espy told the Associated Press in October. "I talk to them as Mississippians - Mississippi young people who want to reduce their debt coming out of college, Mississippi young people who want to stay in this state, and not go to Atlanta and Dallas to get a good job", Espy said after voting.

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