Trump sticks with old playbook in return to campaign trail

Arturo Kim
November 30, 2018

But on Monday, he painted Democrats as radical and unsafe as he stumped for Republican Sen.

President Donald Trump is holding two rallies in MS on Monday in support of Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, whose runoff election against Democratic challenger Mike Espy will take place the following day.

"Hyde-Smith is relying on her Republican affiliation and her loyalty to Trump - and that might be enough", he said.

"I've gotten to know her over the last period of time as a senator, as a very talented United States senator and I know where her heart is, and her heart is good".

The signs include references to Hyde-Smith's comments on the campaign trial about attending a "public hanging".

A spokesman for Pressley said she arrived in MS on Saturday and flew to Washington on Monday morning.

Hyde-Smith's runoff election against Espy, a former congressman and US agriculture secretary, has been far closer than expected thanks to a series of racial controversies, including a photo that emerged of Hyde-Smith wearing a replica hat of a Confederate soldier, and a video in which she said she'd be "on the front row" if invited to a public hanging.

A video surfaced of Hyde-Smith saying at a small rally in Tupelo, Mississippi: "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row". Thad Cochran resigned for health reasons. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in the last Senate race to be decided in 2018.

State and federal investigators are trying to find out who hung seven nooses in trees outside the Mississippi Capitol early Monday, a day before a U.S. Senate runoff that has focused attention on the state's history of racist violence.

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President Donald Trump fired up a MS rally crowd Monday by referring to barbed-wire fences erected by military troops along the U.S. -Mexico border as "pretty nasty".

With the MS election undecided, Republicans hold 52 of 100 Senate seats. The NAACP website says that between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the USA, and that almost 73% of the victims were black.

"I am asking all Mississippians to give me your vote tomorrow so I can ... protect our conservative values", she said.

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

Espy, who is a lawyer, said: "I found out later that this guy, the president, was a really bad guy".

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. Earlier this year, two Trump aides implored Gov. Phil Bryant to appoint someone else to the seat following the retirement of longtime Republican Sen.

"I put my reputation on the line, went through a trial, went through 70 witnesses against me, went through the special prosecutor who spent $26 million against me and I was found not guilty". In his closing statement at the debate, Espy called Cochran a "thoughtful" and "efficient" senator, adding, "I would hope to be the kind of senator that Senator Cochran is".

But many say they're voting for her anyway in Tuesday's runoff election, which is happening because neither candidate got 50 percent of the vote on November 6th. "I think it's been overblown", Smith said over a simmering plate of Chinese food at the Edgewater Mall in Biloxi, . "Because I was not guilty", Espy told the Associated Press in October.

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