Mississippi State Rep. Price Wallace called for the state to “succeed” from the rest of the United States just hours after former Vice President Joe Biden was named the winner of the presidential election.
An obvious misspelling of “secede” pairs alongside a blatant reference to the Confederacy in Wallace’s since-deleted tweet. On Saturday afternoon, the GOP congressman wrote that Mississippi needed to “succeed [sic] from the union and form our own country.” Voters approved a new state flag featuring a magnolia flower last week after voting to remove the Confederate battle flag symbol from its flag in June.
Wallace later backtracked his remark on Wednesday and tweeted an apology.
“I truly love the USA and Mississippi and would never support any idea of seceding from the union,” he wrote. “I am extremely sorry for my comment it was inappropriate and in no way represents the will of my constituents or myself. I humbly ask for forgiveness for my poor lack of judgment.”
I truly love the USA and Mississippi and would never support any idea of seceding from the union. I am extremely sorry for my comment it was inappropriate and in no way represents the will of my constituents or myself. I humbly ask for forgiveness for my poor lack of judgment.
— Rep. Price Wallace (@pricewallace) November 11, 2020
Wallace’s remark was a response to a Twitter thread by former Mississippi representative Robert Foster—a Republican and gubernatorial candidate in 2019—suggesting the presidential race isn’t settled until all “legal votes are counted.” Foster also claimed that the U.S. is “not a democracy,” but rather a “constitutional republic.”
“The majority does not rule, the law derived from a Constitution has the final say,” Foster tweeted. “Democrats and their Fake News Cheerleaders are about to get a hard lesson in civics.”
The Mississippi Free Press reported that the far-right John Birch Society has pushed this claim, which political scientists have called mostly false, in order to devalue the system of representative democracy built by the country’s founders.
Foster, who first made national headlines during his gubernatorial campaign after denying a female reporter from participating in a “ride along” with him unless she brought a male colleague, continued by claiming that Republicans would accept the results of the election even if it wasn’t in their favor, unlike Democrats who he says would “riot.”
“They will riot and burn their own cities to the ground,” Foster wrote. “With that being said. I choose law and order over a Banana Republic, so if it comes to it, let them riot.”
That’s when Wallace’s reply comes in, following a wave of criticism.
The Republican lawmaker is a former farmer first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. A supporter of President Donald Trump, Wallace has repeatedly railed against the media for calling the election in favor of Biden and has recently claimed that Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris would take away his guns.
In a since-deleted reply to a user asking who was after his guns, the congressman tweeted, “Your president and vice president that’s who.”
Although several world leaders and U.S. politicians, including a growing number of GOP lawmakers, have congratulated Biden and Harris on their win, others have backed Trump’s false and unsupported claims that widespread voter fraud was behind Biden’s victory.
While Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, an avid Trump supporter, has not spoken out about the subject since the results were announced, all of the state’s Republican senators and representatives issued a statement that speculated voting fraud in the election with no evidence to back it up.
“Americans should have confidence in our voting system and that all ballots have been submitted correctly and legally. This is precisely what President Trump and his legal team are seeking,” the statement reads. “Any allegations of voting irregularities, including ballot tampering or voting by ineligible persons, should be investigated and adjudicated to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Neither the media nor states should rush to declare a winner in closely contested states until all legally-cast ballots have been counted and all legal challenges and required recounts have been resolved.”
Newsweek reached out to Rep. Wallace for comment.