Chris McDaniel: Black voters have been “relying on big government” for over 100 years

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel speaks at the Neshoba County Fair on Aug. 2, 2018, while a supporter holds up a replica of the Confederate imagery-bearing Mississippi State flag. Since 2015, McDaniel has made a rallying cry out of opposing any effort to change the flag.

Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel – a Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by incumbent Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith – drew boos during a live appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. After Moss Point native Eddie S. Glaude Jr – a black professor who chairs the Center for African-American Studies at Princeton University – asked McDaniel to allay fears among the 38 percent of Mississippians who are black that he would pose a danger to them if elected, McDaniel suggested black voters have been “begging for government scraps” for over 100 years.

As reported in the Jackson Free Press:

“How do you convince black folks in this state that you’re not a danger to them?” and “How do you speak to those 38 percent?” Glaude asked.

“I’m going to ask them, ‘After 100 years of relying on big government to save you, where are you today?’” McDaniel said. “‘After 100 years of begging for federal government scraps, where are you today?”

The comment was met with a chorus of boos and jeers from the crowd of Mississippians who gathered for the live broadcast.

After the jeering died down, McDaniel attempted to correct himself (“I mean the state of Mississippi,” he said), but he drew rebukes not only from opponents on the left, but also from state Republican leaders.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant – who, having repeatedly declared April to be “Confederate History Month,” has his own complicated relationship with race in the state – condemned McDaniel via Tweet.

McDaniel was also condemned by Lucien Smith, the Chairman of the Mississippi GOP:

McDaniel responded, accusing Bryant and other GOP leaders of “running a smear campaign” and “playing the race card”:

Chris McDaniel is running against incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Mike Espy, who served as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Bill Clinton. The three will go head-to-head in a special election on November 6, 2018.

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