Bill Luckett appeared on Sid Salter’s talk radio show on Supertalk Mississippi Friday, and Sid replayed part of the show and commented on it Monday afternoon. Sid asked Luckett about this from a recent Associated Press article:
“You can’t have grown up in the Mississippi Delta with any kind of sensitivity or any kind of feelings and not come out of that aligned with the Democratic Party, unless you’re just a racist or something,” Luckett said.
This is what Luckett had to say on the quote on Friday:
It was not the answer I gave and then the question that was asked was something about Brad White, the Republican chairperson in Mississippi said Democrats are out of touch with Mississippians and basically can’t win an election or something along those lines. And I answered that by saying, well my belief was that its the Republicans that are out of touch not Democrats. Then she asked me another question. I was fighting about four trucks going by. In fact, and I’m not saying anything derogatory about Emily Pettus, it was a most difficult conversation, it was interrupted a number of times, and finally she said ‘let me see if I got this quote right’ and she read it back and I got parts of it and I said ‘well it sounds pretty close.’ But my message…what I said was this, I said ‘growing up in Mississippi for sixty years in the Delta leaves me with a sense of compassion and social sensitivity that I think everybody in the Delta develops and has, UNLESS one is a racist.’ And I believe that. And I’ve got Republican friends all over the Delta who are compassionate and as socially sensitive and maybe more so than I am even…If it was taken wrong, I apologize for that, but my intention was to say, ‘I grew up in the Delta and like a lot of my friends there you can’t have lived in the poorest part of the poorest state in the nation and not come away with some real social sensitivity.
Salter said after the show he got a text message from the Associated Press Capitol Reporter Emily Wagster Pettus, that said per Salter:
I understand that Mr. Luckett was trying to disavow the quote that was in my story. I read it back to Mr. Luckett immediately after he said it and told him I wanted to make sure I had it right and he said that yes, those were his words. I don’t want to get up in the middle of this on the radio, but clearly, I stand by the accuracy of my work.
Then Salter noted that Luckett also challenged his own reporting in a column from January of this year when Salter wrote:
There are other seeming contradictions. He supports charter schools, but supports a substantial amount of so-called “tort reform” legislation. That would seem to pit Luckett against one of the groups that delivers the most warm bodies to the polls to support Democrats (teacher unions) and one of the groups that has in recent years provided much of the campaign finance dollars (trial lawyers).
Salter said he remembers the interview and that his colleague Jerry Mitchell was in the Clarion Ledger conference room with him. But when he mentioned it on the radio, this was Luckett’s response:
Alright Sid, well first of all, that was one segment of your article that I don’t think you got right from me, on tort reform.
To this Salter said on the radio Monday:
Mr. Luckett questioned Emily Wagster Pettus because of an uncomfortable response to a question. He questioned me because of an uncomfortable response to a question that I asked back in January in an interview with him…It will be a long and difficult campaign if Mr. Luckett questions the veracity of every reporter who asks him tough questions and responds to the times when he gives difficult answers by saying ‘the reporter got it wrong.’ I don’t think Emily Wagster Pettus got it wrong and I can assure you, I didn’t get it wrong.
Bill Luckett’s Campaign Strategy
2) Put Foot in Mouth
3) Blame the Shoe
I can’t wait to see what happens next.