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Mississippi GOP Senate Candidate Gets Booed After Saying African-Americans ‘Beg for Federal Scraps’

A Republican candidate running for a Mississippi seat in the U.S. Senate drew the ire of a live audience Friday after he said Black Americans have spent the last 100 years “begging for government scraps.”

GOP Senate candidate Chris McDaniel was met with a chorus of boos during a live interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where he appeared alongside other U.S. Senate hopefuls at the University of Mississippi last week, Newsweek reported.

Chris McDaniel
Chris McDaniel argued Mississippi has remained in “dead last” because it relies too heavily on federal funding. (MSNBC / video screenshot)

Panelist Eddie Glaude Jr., chairman of African-American studies at Princeton University, pressed McDaniel on remarks about hip-hop music’s connection to gun violence, as well as his support for the Confederate flag. Glaude pointed out that 38 percent of Mississippians are Black and asked the Senate candidate how he would convince those voters “you’re not a danger to them.”

“I am going to ask them, after 100 years, after 100 years of relying on big government to save you, where are you today? After 100 years of begging for federal government scraps, where are you today?” McDaniel replied.

The studio erupted into boos and the GOP candidate quickly tried to clarify his statements.

“We’ve been dead last for 100 years,” he said, talking about the state of Mississippi. “And what happens is, if we keep depending on that economic model, we’re always going to stay last. Our state depends heavily on federal funds.”

“To your question, the candidate I am is the candidate that wants to expand your liberty … break out of old ways,” McDaniel added.

The damage had already been done, however. Critics took to social media to decry the attorney’s “racist” comment and chided the “Morning Joe” crew for failing to call him out for it.

“I mean, listen to this racist shite Chris McDaniel is spewing,” Guardian op-ed writer Holly Figueroa O’Reilly said in a tweet. “And NO ONE PUSHED BACK. Even the audience was shocked and booing him. But not one follow up question by the @Morning_Joe crew. Incredible.”

“Chris McDaniel — pro Trump, pro wall, pro confederate flag, clearly an entitled, narrow-minded, condescending racist. What a shame for us all, especially Mississippi if he wins,” another critic chimed in. “@Morning_Joe call his BS!!!!”

In a statement to the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger, McDaniel, who currently holds a seat in the Mississippi state Senate, clarified his statements once more and brushed aside concerns about his comments during the interview.

“It was an 11-minute segment. And that one sentence is your primary focus?” he said. “I easily clarified my position — that is, Mississippi being the dead last state of the Union in terms of wealth and economic prosperity, based on outdated economic models.”

McDaniel is facing off against military veteran Democrat Tobey Bartee, ex-U.S. Rep. Mike Espy and GOP senator Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith in a Nov. 6 special election to fill the final two years of Sen. Thad Cochran’s term. Cochran, 80, is retiring because of illness.

As an admirer of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, McDaniel ran a Twitter poll in August asking respondents whether they thought Lee was a hero or a villain. Ninety-one percent of respondents said the Confederate leader was a villain.

Watch more in the clip below.

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