GOP Senate candidate to African Americans: Stop begging for 'government scraps'

Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel was booed by a crowd during a live taping of “Morning Joe” on Friday after saying that African Americans have spent 100 years “begging for federal government scraps.”

The comment from the GOP candidate came during a segment of the MSNBC show taped at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Panelist Eddie Glaude Jr. asked McDaniel about his stance on the Confederate flag, saying that 38 percent of Mississippi residents are black while asking McDaniel how he would appeal to those voters and convince them "you are not a danger to them."

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“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?”

McDaniel was met with loud boos from the audience and quickly sought to clarify his comments.

"I mean the state of Mississippi,” McDaniel 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.”

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

In a statement to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger after the interview, McDaniel brushed off concerns about the segment.

"It was an 11-minute segment. And that one sentence is your primary focus?” McDaniel said. “I easily clarified my position — that is, Mississippi being the dead last state of the Union in terms of wealth and economic prosperity, based on outdated economic models."

Glaude, a Mississippi native and chairman of African-American studies at Princeton University, pressed McDaniel on his views on several controversial topics, including his support for the Confederate flag and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The Republican state senator made headlines last month 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.”

McDaniel is running against Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to the seat after Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranGOP Senate candidate to African Americans: Stop begging for 'government scraps' Trump endorses Hyde-Smith in Mississippi Senate race GOP Senate candidate doubles down on Robert E. Lee despite Twitter poll MORE's (R) resignation earlier this year, and Democrat Mike Espy.

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

Updated: 10:45 p.m.