Hyde-Smith Refuses To Debate McDaniel Because She Doesn’t Want To Give Him Free Airtime

Molly Prince | Politics Reporter

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith explains in an uncovered video that she has been refusing to debate Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel, her GOP challenger, to prevent him from receiving free airtime.

“I love debates, but right now my opponent does not have enough money to get on TV and my guys were saying [debating him on TV is] like handing him a $200,000 campaign donation,” the Mississippi senator said. “He’s way down in the coals and he’s wanting the TV time.”

The video secretly recorded Hyde-Smith while at a private-meet-and-greet over the weekend, according to The Daily Journal, which first obtained the footage. (RELATED: Trump Endorses Former Democrat Cindy-Hyde Smith For Senate)

WATCH:

An unidentified constituent called McDaniel “eye candy,” and Hyde-Smith urged her not to believe his rhetoric.

“I sat behind him four years on the [Mississippi state] senate floor, I know him well,” Hyde-Smith told the constituent. “Please don’t believe his lies. When he says I voted for Hillary Clinton, that’s the biggest lie he’s ever told. So please don’t believe his lies. And when he said I don’t support the Second Amendment, biggest lie ever told.”

In the nonpartisan jungle primary, Hyde-Smith leads McDaniel by five points but lags Democrat Mike Espy by one point, according to the latest NBC News poll. The candidates are vying for the Senate seat vacated by Republican Thad Cochran in April 2018.

Hyde-Smith’s office did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation request for a comment.

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