President Trump is headed for MS on Monday to rally support for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith ahead of Tuesday's runoff election against Democratic opponent Mike Espy. Hyde-Smith apologized for the "hanging" comments during a debate earlier this week and dubbed the voting suppression comments a "joke".
Trump will be campaigning Monday for GOP Sen.
In recent days, Hyde-Smith has been asked to explain why she attended a private, nearly all-white school, dozens of which sprang up across the South to counter court-ordered school desegregation in the 1970s.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith recently drew criticism for remarks condoning public hangings and the Confederacy.
MS has a history of racially motivated lynchings and violence against people who sought voting rights for black citizens, and Hyde-Smith has been sharply criticized after two videos surfaced this month.
The Jackson Free Press reported Friday that Hyde-Smith attended Lawrence County Academy, a school founded in 1970, the year many MS public high schools integrated. The victor of Tuesday's runoff gets the final two years of a term he started. It's the last U.S. Senate race to be decided in 2018 and will determine whether Republicans add to their slim majority.
Hyde-Smith is identified in a caption beneath the yearbook photograph, which shows a row of cheerleaders smiling as they lie on the ground, propped up on their elbows, as a girl dressed in what seems to be Civil War-era regalia stands in the center holding an apparent Confederate flag. In the center, the mascot, dressed in what appears to be an outfit created to mimic that of a Confederate general, offers a salute as she holds up a large Confederate flag. Baseball donated the maximum to her after the controversies, with the donation being made on November 23.
Her comment had nothing to do with race-related lynchings, she said.
His rally stops are to include Biloxi and Tupelo, Mississippi.
"Democrats will also destroy your health care by inviting caravan after caravan after caravan" of immigrants into the country illegally, he claimed, warning they would wreak havoc and bankrupt the Treasury Department. Former Vice President Joe Biden has endorsed Espy, and three Democrats who could run for president in 2020 - Sens. He had served as a cabinet secretary for former President Bill Clinton.
For Espy, turnout is key.
"I guess you could juxtapose my experience with her experience", Espy told The Associated Press.
In the final weeks of campaigning, race has become a dominant issue.
"My approach is MS first", Espy said at last week's debate. "She's a person that loves the people of MS, she loves the people of this country". The same progressive blogger who published the video later published one in which she told a small group at Mississippi State University that suppressing the votes of students at other colleges was "a great thing".