Trump rallies for Cindy Hyde-Smith in Mississippi

Last Updated Nov 26, 2018 6:20 PM EST

President Trump is throwing his full support behind Republican Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith, ahead of her runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy on Tuesday. 

Mr. Trump is holding two rallies for her Monday — one in Tupelo, Mississippi, and then one 300 miles to the south in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mississippi voted overwhelmingly for the president in 2016. Hyde-Smith was appointed U.S. senator for the state after former Sen. Thad Cochran was forced to leave his seat due to deteriorating health. 

In Tupelo, Mr. Trump cast Espy as “far left.” 

“Cindy’s far left opponent. He’s far left. Ohh he’s out there. How does he fit in with Mississippi, I mean how does he fit in?”

Mr. Trump had a couple pop culture moments in his rally. At one point, he said people compared himself to Elvis when he was younger, which he considers a compliment. In discussing his approach to trade – which he wants to call the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the president said the U.S.M.C.A. sounds like the YMCA. “Y-M-C-A,” he said, singing the tune. 

Mississippi is Trump country — the state voted for Mr. Trump by 18 points. But Hyde-Smith failed to capture enough votes to fend off Espy, with a third-party candidate garnering 15 points in the Nov. 6 election. 

Hyde-Smith has found herself in hot political waters, after joking about a “public hanging.” She only partly apologized after intense public pressure. But Mr. Trump has defended her, when given the chance. 

“Cindy Hyde-Smith is a spectacular woman,” the president told reporters last week. “She’s a great senator. She came in, she’s done a fantastic job in a short period of time. She made a statement which I know that she feels very badly about it, and it was just sort of said in jest, as she said. And she’s a tremendous woman. And it’s a shame that she has to go through this.”

The Tupelo rally begins at 6 p.m. EST and the Biloxi rally begins at 9 p.m. EST, and can be watched in the live player above.

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