Mississippi governor likens Biden’s ‘neanderthal’ remark to Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorable’ comments

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Louise Hall
·2 min read
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<p>Mississippi Republican Gov Tate Reeves delivers a televised address prior to signing a bill retiring the last state flag in the United States with the Confederate battle emblem</p> (Getty Images)

Mississippi Republican Gov Tate Reeves delivers a televised address prior to signing a bill retiring the last state flag in the United States with the Confederate battle emblem

(Getty Images)

The governor of Mississippi has likened Joe Biden’s comments over his decision to scrap mask mandates as “neanderthal thinking” to being “called deplorable” by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

On Wednesday, Mr Biden heavily criticised the governors of Mississippi and Texas for ending their mask mandates and re-opening businesses to 100 per cent capacity.

The president said their decision to discontinue masks was “neanderthal thinking” telling reporters: “I think it’s a big mistake.”

He said: “The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask and forget it.”

In a segment on Fox News discussing the remarks of Mr Biden, Republican governor Tate Reeves said he felt the remarks were similar to controversial comments made by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“Today I feel the same way as I did the day that Hillary Clinton called all of us in middle of America deplorables when president Biden said that we were all neanderthals,” he said.

He added: “It struck me as someone who needs to get out of Washington DC and actually travel to middle America.”

In 2016, Ms Clinton sparked backlash when she said “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters could be grouped in “the basket of deplorables” at a fundraising event in New York City.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Right?” Ms Clinton said during the rally.

The then-presidential hopeful endured fallout from the comments after critics claimed her vocabulary proved Ms Clinton had a deep distrust and animosity for working-class Americans.

Following the recent relaxation of restrictions, the two governors have also received significant backlash over the controversial decision with a number of Democrats and public health experts condemning the choice.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also told reporters on Wednesday that “this entire country has paid the price for political leaders who ignored the science when it comes to the pandemic”,

“We’re asking people to listen to health experts, medical experts, the CDC, to [Dr Anthony Fauci], to others who are basing their recommendations on how to save people’s lives,” she said.

Texas governor, Greg Abbott, had previously faced pressure from fellow Republicans to remove the mask rule which he initially resisted implementing when the first surge hit in the summer.

The state, which recorded 44,000 deaths from coronavirus and more than two million infections, has become the largest state in the US to reopen.

Mississippi has recorded 296,000 coronavirus cases since the pandemic gripped the country last year, leading to the deaths of 6,743 people.

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