Governor Bryant Not Offended By Congressman Thompson’s Recent CommentsBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 13 May 2014 08:34am |
Governor Phil Bryant says there is not a rift between himself and Mississippi's second district congressman Bennie Thompson. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reports Bryant says there are no hard feelings after being accused of opposing President Barack Obama because of his race....
Last month, Thompson went on the New Nation of Islam radio show and claimed opposition to Obama and the expansion of Medicaid in Mississippi are racially motivated.
"This man turned it down. But he also turned the resources down that could go to help his citizens that already are documented as having some of the worst health conditions known to man. And so all of a sudden just because a black man created it," Thompson said.
Thompson did not mention Bryant by name, but option to expand Medicaid in Mississippi is a decision for state lawmakers which Bryant has been at the forefront of the opposition.
Governor Bryant says his feelings are not hurt by the comments and does not expect them to affect their working relationship which he says is close.
"Politicians whether you are on the left or the right occasionally say things that have a great deal of energy behind them because of the audience and I think that was the occasion for congressman Thompson's remarks," Bryant said.
Black Mississippians would make up about 60-percent of the people who would get insurance if Medicaid were expanded.
In an interview with CNN Thompson stood by his remarks saying he considers the opposition to Obama unprecedented.
"I have never seen the venom put forth on another president like I have seen with this president. And that is my opinion," Thompson said.
Governor Bryant says he has not had any contact with Thompson or called his office to talk about Thompson's comments but that he would welcome the conversation.
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