/Sen Hyde-Smith’s perceived ineffectiveness in Washington comes into focus in final days of Senate race

Sen Hyde-Smith’s perceived ineffectiveness in Washington comes into focus in final days of Senate race

Hyde-Smith will face Espy in the Nov. 3-election election. Espy is promoting that message in TV ads that air across the state. He’s also focusing on it in campaign events, as he continues his bus tour of the state less that a week before Election Day. Espy sent a fundraising email Wednesday saying that Cindy Hyde-Smith’s ineffectiveness in the United States Senate has real consequences. “This senator hasn’t done even the minimum to improve our public schools and fix our roads. She’s actually done so little in her office that she’s been rated as the least-effective senator of Washington… Hyde-Smith brushed off this criticism on Thursday. “Haters will just hate. Hyde-Smith said that it was just noise to reporters in Pearl on Thursday. “Mississippi’s in a great spot,” Hyde-Smith said to reporters on Thursday in Pearl. Espy’s campaign focuses on the “least efficient senator in Washington” rating published jointly by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia. Hyde-Smith is ranked as the least efficient Republican senator by the nonpartisan center. It assesses senators’ ability to move their agenda items through the five stages of the legislative process. The center, however, ranks Roger Wicker (Mississippi’s senior senator) as the ninth most efficient Republican senator. Since her appointment to the Senate in April 2018, Hyde-Smith hasn’t passed any bills. She was replacing Sen. Thad Cchran who retired in April 2018. Hyde-Smith was questioned about Espy’s impact on her effectiveness at a campaign event. She stated that the president signed the bill to extend Mississippi duck hunting season, the first she had presented in the Senate. However, the extension of duck hunting seasons was only one of many provisions in a larger bill she didn’t author. Hyde-Smith stated that she was a member the Senate Appropriations, and Agriculture committees. She had worked on Mississippi programs from shipbuilding on its Gulf Coast to rural broadband expansion to rural healthcare. Espy has meanwhile focused her attention on expanding rural broadband in the state, as well as expanding Medicaid to cover the healthcare needs of the working poor, and saving rural hospitals, many of which are at risk of going bankrupt. READ MORE: What are the Mississippi U.S. Senate Candidates’ views on these issues? In recent weeks, Espy supporters and surrogates have seized on this “ineffective” narrative. The Lincoln Project, a super PAC that is run by Republican political operatives, published an ad in mid-October highlighting Hyde Smith’s ineffectiveness. The ad’s narration states that Mississippi is a small state and that strong senators are needed to protect it. Cindy Hyde Smith is weak. She has done nothing. Invisible. Ineffective.” Espy cites instances where she dressed up in Confederate garb, and comments about her willingness to go to a public hanging as examples of instances when he claimed that she had damaged the reputation of the state. Recently, Hyde-Smith has often shifted to Republican talk points when Hyde-Smith has been available to answer questions on current issues facing Mississippians. Jackson’s WAPT television station asked Hyde-Smith this week how she would promote racial harmony and unity in Mississippi. Hyde-Smith replied to the question, “We worked very hard now so that we can join together because everybody wants Mississippi safe and everybody wants their First Amendment rights preserved.” We must continue to work together to strengthen our military. This also increases security. And that’s why I have made it one of my top priorities to support our veterans and strengthen the military so that we can achieve peace through strength.” Espy responded to Hyde Smith’s “haters just going to hate” criticisms of her effectiveness at a campaign event in Oxford. “My momma raised me right. Espy told the crowd that she doesn’t hate anyone. “But you know what? I know she doesn’t need to be a senator. I want a Mississippi with unity, that is less divided, that moves forward. Espy said, “I don’t hate her.” “I don’t hate her,” Espy continued. Hyde-Smith spoke Thursday at the Mississippi Economic Council’s annual Hobnob, which was billed as an opportunity for business leaders to speak directly. Espy is currently on a bus tour through the state and spoke via video at this event along with other politicians. Live streaming allowed viewers to view the event at Pearl’s Trustmark Park. Except for MEC staff, and a few other support personnel, COVID-19 did not allow any attendees. Hyde-Smith stated that she doesn’t get distracted by the drama on Capitol Hill. Hyde-Smith said, “I am completely focused on my work for You.” Hyde Smith defeated Espy in November 2018. She was appointed in April 2018 to replace Cochran. Espy will be her opponent again for the full six-year term. Espy stated during his video speech that Cindy Hyde-Smith said she loved Mississippi. I believe she does. But she seems to love the old Mississippi. She is holding us back.” Hyde Smith also made campaign stops at Jackson suburbs, while Espy campaigned north Mississippi. On Thursday, Hyde-Smith and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (a Tennessee Republican, but a Jones County native) held a joint press conference at Madison’s restaurant. Two Republicans were asked questions about the inability to reach an agreement on a COVID-19 package of economic relief. They blamed Democrats for their failure and said they didn’t want to pass any legislation before the election in order to keep the issue alive during the campaign. Hyde-Smith held up two fingers and said that Senate Republicans voted twice to kill relief packages. She didn’t mention that Senate Republicans wouldn’t take up relief packages approved by House Democrats. Blackburn stated that the Republicans would not pass a bill because the Democrats wanted to “bail out” Democratic states in bad governance. Blackburn stated that Tennessee received less federal funding than Mississippi, but she did not say the same for Tennessee. Hyde-Smith stated that while the nation and state are making progress with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still much to do. She praised Trump as she does often, but she was not able to comment on White House claims that the president had eliminated the COVID-19 epidemic. She said, “I cannot speak for the president.” “I know we still need to help,” she said. 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