In a video posted Thursday, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is captured saying at a Nov. 3 campaign stop: "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. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that's a great idea." Hyde-Smith, appointed earlier this year, is in a Nov. 27 runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy to fill the remaining two years of former Sen. Thad Cochran's (R) term.
Lamar White Jr., who posted both this video and the one where Hyde-Smith said if a supporter "invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row," said this is the only part of the clip he received. It was recorded in Starkville, during a Mississippi State University football game. It's not clear what "those other schools" are, CNN notes, but "Mississippi is home to several historically black colleges and universities, and black voters in the state overwhelmingly back Democrats."
"Obviously Sen. Hyde-Smith was making a joke and clearly the video was selectively edited," Hyde-Smith spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said Thursday. (White told The Clarion-Ledger the video clearly wasn't edited, and "this is what she said, verbatim.") Scallan told The Washington Post that Hyde-Smith made her comment while "talking to four freshmen at Mississippi State University about an idea to have polling places on college campuses," and "that's what she said was a great idea." Her comment "was a joke," she added. "The senator absolutely is not a racist and does not support voter suppression."
Espy spokesman Danny Blanton said the "joke" wasn't funny: "For a state like Mississippi, where voting rights were obtained through sweat and blood, everyone should appreciate that this is not a laughing matter." If you want a recap of Hyde-Smith's damage control on her "public hanging" comment, Late Night has a very stylized walkthrough below. Peter Weber
Pete Davidson addressed his high-profile breakup with singer Ariana Grande on Saturday Night Live, saying things just didn't work out between them and the details are nobody's business, but he took a long and iffy road to get there. "So the midterm elections are obviously a huge deal, and after I had to move back in with my mom, I started paying attention to them," Davidson joked on "Weekend Update." "And I realized there are some really gross people running for office this year. So here are my first impressions."
Dan Crenshaw, a Navy SEAL who lost an eye in Afghanistan, was Davidson's third impression. "You may be surprised to hear he's a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie," Davidson said. "I'm sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever." He went on to give his impression of "a Democrat, so I look fair," then poked fun at himself: "I'm not insane, I know I shouldn't be making fun of how anyone looks — I look like I make vape juice in a bathtub. I look like a Dr. Seuss character went to prison."
Crenshaw was not amused by the bit.
Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.
The National Republican Congressional Committee took umbrage, too, getting a little personal: "Getting dumped by your pop star girlfriend is no excuse for lashing out at a decorated war hero who lost his eye serving our country."