Shows: U.S. should not apologize

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2001

U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows, D-Miss., says Congress and the nation needs to support President Bush and not apologize to China.

Bush is negotiating the release of 24 crewmembers of an EP-3E surveillance plane that collided with a Chinese fighter jet on March 31.

&uot;If they think they’re winning the battle of public opinion … they’re liable to sit on this thing for a long time,&uot; said Shows, in Natchez Tuesday to speak at the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce’s spring luncheon.

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Shows also does not think an apology is necessary.

&uot;Because we didn’t do anything wrong,&uot; Shows said. &uot;It wasn’t our plane’s fault. If anything we ought to be getting an apology from them.

&uot;Personally I don’t trust China,&uot; he said. &uot;I never have.&uot;

The Chinese pilot was known to be a reckless pilot, Shows said.

&uot;We were in international airspace spying on them just like they spy on us,&uot; Shows said.

But after the next election, his 4th District won’t likely be what it is now. Because Mississippi has not grown as quickly as other states, it will lose a representative in Congress based on Census 2000 figures.

Shows does not yet know what the means for his district, but, he said, &uot;I want to keep my district just like I’ve got it now.&uot;

Shows hopes to maintain the 15 counties he now represents, but he expects that number to increase by about eight counties.

&uot;We’re trying our best to keep my district as a whole,&uot; he said.

The redistricting will go into effect for the 2002 election.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Shows would not give his opinion on the upcoming state flag election except to say the state needs to do what is best for recruiting industry.

&uot;That’s just a decision I’m going to make when I go to the voting booth,&uot; he said.

Shows told the crowd of chamber members that he also supports incentives to help rural businesses, higher salaries for teachers, a reduction in the national debt using part of the budget surplus, and the elimination of the estate tax.

&uot;I’ve never seen a person well off that was lazy,&uot; Shows said. &uot;Most people who have accumulated assets have worked like crazy to get there.&uot;

Stephanie Hutchins, chairman of the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce’s legislative committee, said Shows has always shown himself to be a friend of small businesses and Natchez-Adams County.

&uot;He’ll always find time to be with us,&uot; she said. &uot;He’s always quick to say he works for us.&uot;