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James Smith Challenged Over Divisive Hillary Clinton Rhetoric

Is South Carolina “backwards?” Wait … don’t answer that …

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate James Smith is being challenged by a national “Republican” group over divisive comments made earlier this week by former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

During a speech in Mumbai, India, Clinton claimed she won states that were “moving forward” in the 2016 election.  The campaign of U.S. president Donald Trump, on the other hand, was “looking backwards.”

The implication?  That red states – like South Carolina – are “backwards.”

Does she have a point as it relates to the Palmetto State?  Hmmmm …

“If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won,” Clinton said. “I win the coast, I win, you know, Illinois and Minnesota, places like that.  I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product.  So, I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”

Ouch …

Divisiveness from Clinton is nothing new (remember, this is the same woman who once said that half of Trump supporters were “deplorables“).  Not surprisingly, her latest broadside became an immediate lightning rod in states where Democrats are either struggling to hold onto seats – or struggling to gain relevancy.

“Those are kind of fighting words for me, because I’m partial to Missouri voters,” Democratic U.S. senator Claire McCaskill said. “I think they were expressing their frustration with the status quo. I may not have agreed with their choice, but I certainly respect them. And I don’t think that’s the way you should talk about any voter, especially ones in my state.”

Nice …

Good for McCaskill.

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) pounced on Clinton’s comments.  Not only that, the group cited Smith’s prior support for Clinton, including a quote in which he described her as being “uniquely qualified to serve” as president.

“Given his ardent support for Clinton during the 2016 election, he should immediately admit where he stands,” the organization said in a news release.  “Does James Smith agree with Hillary Clinton that South Carolina is backwards?  Voters deserve to know.”

Smith’s campaign fired back, arguing the RGA was telegraphing its fear of Smith as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

“James Smith has over 20 years of distinguished service to the people of South Carolina and this nation,” Smith’s campaign manager Mike McCauley told us.  “As a lifelong South Carolinian, he has nothing but love and respect for the people of the Palmetto State.  If anything, this press release shows the RGA is worried about losing in South Carolina.”

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