HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel was booed by a live MSNBC audience on Sept. 14 at Ole Miss. McDaniel was a guest on Morning Joe discussing a variety of topics including the upcoming U.S. Senate race.
The sea of boos came after a Moss Point native asked him a question regarding blacks in the state.
“Now, 38 percent of Mississippi is black,” said panelist Eddie Glaude Jr., chairman of African America studies at Princeton University. “If you’re elected to the U.S. Senate, you’re supposed to represent the whole state.”
Glaude went on to ask him, “how do you convince black folk in this state, that you are not a danger to them?”
McDaniel’s response left the crowd in shock.
“I’m going to ask them after 100 years, after 100 years of relying on big government to save you--- where are you today?” said McDaniel. “After 100 years of begging for federal government scraps, where are you today?”
Hearing the boos, McDaniel pivoted his answer to say, “I mean the state of Mississippi.”
During the interview, Glaude mentioned McDaniel’s stance on long-time controversial issues like the state flag, Robert E. Lee and his position on hip-hop music as a connection to gun-violence.
“Our flag has been here an awfully long time,” rebutted McDaniel. “In 2001, 65 percent of Mississippians chose to keep that flag. Now, the thing about flags like any symbol is they are subject to different interpretations. But, if 65 percent of the people have voted to keep that flag, we should respect their wishes.”
Even though McDaniel acknowledged that Mississippi’s state flag “could be offensive to some,” he added that “almost all symbols are offensive to someone.”
“I’m going to stand with the majority on that in this instance,” he said. “Now, if the people of Mississippi want to start another referendum--- they want to change it--- that’s the direct democracy concept they like to push sometimes--- okay. But, I’m going to stand for that flag, because people have stood for that flag.”
Gov. Phil Bryant condemned the remarks on Twitter stating McDaniel’s comment “does not reflect the beliefs of the Mississippi Republican Party or the average Mississippian.”
McDaniel faces fellow Republican Cindy-Hyde-Smith and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bartee in the Nov. 6 special election.