GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith jokes about attending 'a public hanging'

Mississippi senator Cindy Hyde Smith releases statement on ‘public hanging’ comment

Days after appointed U.S. Sen.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., speaks to supporters of her campaign during an election night party she shared with fellow Republican U.S. Sen.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who faces a black Democratic challenger in a November 27 runoff, said Sunday that her November 2 remark was "exaggerated expression of regard" for someone who invited her to speak and "any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous".

Hyde-Smith became the first woman to represent MS in Congress after being appointed in April to replace Thad Cochran, who had to step down because of health problems.

Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Hyde-Smith's office for comment and will update when we hear back. "Any politician seeking to serve as a national voice of the people of MS should know better".

A cattle rancher had introduced the lawmaker to the group, who all gathered in Tupelo, Miss. on November 2, according to The Associated Press.

The national NAACP president Derrick Johnson, who is from MS, said Hyde-Smith's comment shows a lack of judgment. It's unclear what context the comments were made under, although she appeared to be praising the rancher, Colin Hutchinson.

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In the 10 second clip, Hyde-Smith can be heard speaking to a small group in front of a statue of Elvis Presley in Presley's hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi.

"I referred to accepting an invitation to a speaking engagement", Hyde-Smith said in a statement, obtained by The Associated Press. "Any politician seeking to serve as a national voice of the people of MS should know better". "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", she said.

Hyde-Smith was appointed to the post by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant after former-U.S. Sen.

She's battling Espy to determine who will serve the remaining two years of Cochran's term, since neither candidate was able to win more than 50 percent of the vote in a November 6 special election, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Chrissy Teigen and Shaun King were among those criticizing Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith has agreed to participate in the November 20 debate after an invitation was extended to her from Mississippi Farm Bureau, who will sponsor the event.

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