Senator: 'Great Idea' to Block College Voters

November 19, 2018

Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican senator from Mississippi, is facing backlash for a video of her on a campaign stop telling a crowd that it would be a “great idea” to make it more difficult for college students to vote, The Washington Post reported.

“They remind me that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who maybe we don’t want to vote,” she said. “Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.” Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff election Nov. 27.

Melissa Scallan, a spokeswoman for Hyde-Smith’s campaign, told The Washington Post that Hyde-Smith’s comment was a joke and that the video had been selectively edited. In an effort to stem the criticism, Hyde-Smith tweeted a photo with two students from Mississippi State University. One of the students pictured, JR Coleman, spoke out on Twitter against her use of his photo.

"As a political science major I want to understand and inform myself about every candidate. But I do not, however, support Cindy Hyde Smith. I am disgusted. The sole purpose of this picture being posted is because I am black," he tweeted. "She is attempting to show herself in a different light by using this photo of me. We were not laughing in regards to her terrible statements, and I don’t appreciate this post trying to make it seem so."

Hyde-Smith has since deleted the tweet.

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