MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called out white Republican candidates for using racist language to remind voters their opponents are black.
Ron DeSantis appears headed to a win in the Florida governor's race, despite warning that Democrat Andrew Gillum would "monkey up" the state's economy, and now Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-FL) is drawing criticism by refusing to apologize for an odd remark about a hypothetical invitation to a "public hanging."
"It's just astounding," said "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski. "It sounds incredibly tone deaf, of course, but it's not tone deaf at all. She obviously meant to go say it and she won't apologize for it. Which is just absolutely astounding to me. That in this day and age, she would sort of go there and not only go there, but stay there."
Scarborough said her refusal to back down shows Hyde-Smith's remark was intentional.
"She's staying there for a reason, just like what DeSantis said," Scarborough said. "He had a reason wanting to remind voters that their opponents are black, and it's such an insult when you have Republicans and other people going, 'Oh, they didn't mean anything by (saying) I'd go to a public hanging with him or, Oh, monkeying it up.'"
Scarborough said their explanations fell flat, because the language they used were not common idioms.
"DeSantis, I think he's even younger than me," Scarborough said. "Nobody went around in polite society talking about monkeying things up. I lived in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, northwest Florida for 45 years -- never once did I hear anybody talking about public hanging in a positive way, that, 'I like Jimmy so much, you know what? I may just meet him one night at a public hanging.'"