Cindy Hyde-Smith Apologizes to Those Offended by ‘Hanging’ Comment, Says Her Words Were ‘Twisted’

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) apologized to anyone who was offended by a remark she made at a campaign event in which she was recorded saying: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” “For anyone that was offended by my comments, I certainly apologize,” Hyde-Smith said during a debate with her Democratic opponent Mike Espy on Tuesday night, as she appeared to read from a piece of paper. “There was no ill will, no intent whatsoever in my statements.” She went on to say that the “comment was twisted and it was turned into a weapon to be used against me.” The remarks set off a firestorm in the race, which will be decided in a runoff next Tuesday, causing a number of companies to withdraw financial support. Hyde-Smith’s apology on Tuesday came as photos from 2014 surfaced in which she was shown posing with Confederate artifacts. The photos, which were reportedly posted to Facebook after a tour of Beauvoir, the home and library of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, were captioned: “Mississippi history at its best!”