Audience Booed GOP Senate Candidate For Saying African Americans ‘Beg For Government Scraps’

Audience Booed GOP Senate Candidate For Saying African Americans ‘Beg For Government Scraps’

government scraps
Republican State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, a candidate in a special election to fill the final two years of a term started by Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, challenges voters to keep a conservative hold the White House, with his election, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, at one of the biggest political events of the year in the state, the Neshoba County Fair, in Philadelphia, Miss.(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel was booed on Friday by a crowd during a live taping of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when he said that African Americans have spent 100 years “begging for federal government scraps,” The Hill reported.

The MSNBC segment catapulted the Mississippi Senate races into the national spotlight, according to Mississippi Today.

McDaniel’s comment evokes memories of Donald Trump’s outreach strategy on the campaign trail when Trump asked African Americans to vote for him, saying “What the hell do you have to lose?”

McDaniel is trailing in the polls, The Hill reported. He is running against appointed Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, former U.S. Rep. Mike Espy (Democrat) and military veteran Democrat Tobey Bartee in a Nov. 6 special election to fill out the remaining two years of longtime Sen. Thad Cochran’s term. Cochran resigned earlier this year. Espy in 1986 became Mississippi’s first black U.S. House member since the 1800s.

A little-known candidate, Bartee is a Naval Academy graduate in engineering from Gautier. He describes himself as a “man of few words.”

Tobey Bartee is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Mississippi. This is his Bartee webpage banner. http://www.barteeforsenate.com/

An August poll conducted for the Espy campaign found Hyde-Smith ahead by 29 percent, followed by Espy with 27 percent and McDaniel with 17 percent.

Eddie Glaude Jr., chairman of African-American studies at Princeton University, questioned  McDaniel during an MSNBC show segment taped at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

In Mississippi, 38 percent of residents are Black. Glaude asked McDaniel about his stance on the Confederate flag, about comments McDaniel made related to hip-hop music contributing to gun violence and about praise of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

McDaniel was asked how he would convince African American voters he is “not a danger to them.”

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

The audience booed loudly. McDaniel tried to explain. “I mean the state of Mississippi,” he said. “I’m talking about the state of Mississippi. We’ve been dead last for 100 years. And what happens is, if we keep dependent on that economic model, we’re always going to stay last.”

Later, McDaniel further trying to explain what he meant in a statement to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, saying Mississippi was the “dead last state of the Union in terms of wealth and economic prosperity, based on outdated economic models.”

Mississippi ranks No. 49 overall out of 50 states, according to data provided to U.S. News & World Report by McKinsey & Company’s Latest States Index:


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

In August 2016, Trump accused the Democratic Party of taking Black voters for granted. Speaking in Dimondale, Michigan — a predominantly white suburb of Lansing — Trump asked African American voters what they had to lose by voting for him.

The Republican state senator made headlines in August when he asked his Twitter followers to respond to a poll asking whether Lee was a hero or a villain. Ninety-one percent of respondents voted “villain.”