Congressman Gene Taylor compared Ronnie Shows to Sonny Montgomery, saying the 4th District Democrat's stance on military and veterans issues mirrors those of the longtime Mississippi congressman.
"Ronnie Shows has done a phenomenal job of that," said Taylor. "Of organizing a grass-roots effort to get the nation's military retirees the health care that they earned, that they were promised and that they deserve."
"Now they're trying to say, 'we want to form a commission to evaluate the veterans hospitals in this country, we need to close some of them'," said Shows. "Well, I'm not for closing our veterans hospitals, folks. It's terrible. Our veterans are having a hard enough time getting the services they need now."
Shows also responded to recent campaign ads that he says are trying to paint him as an "ultra-liberal."
"They try to sell me as a liberal and I vote 63 percent of the time with the President," said Shows. "I was endorsed by the NRA. I've been endorsed by the National Right to Life. I don't think those folks endorse liberals."
On the issues of gun control and abortion, Rep. Taylor said there's no difference between Pickering and Shows. But on the issues of trade and a balanced budget, that's where, according to Taylor, Shows separates himself.
"Ronnie Shows is committed to a balanced budget," said Taylor. Speaker Hastert has been speaker for almost 1400 days and yet, not for one of those days has he allowed a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution."
Both Shows and Taylor consider themselves "Blue Dog Democrats," not limited to the boundaries of their political party. And Shows is hoping that strategy will speak to the hearts of voters.
Cong. Shows also spoke about his Oct. 23 debate with Cong. Chip Pickering. The debate can be seen live on WTOK-TV Wednesday at 9:00 p.m.
"It's like a big ballgame. You're probably a little nervous right at first but after it starts you kind of get over it," said Shows. "A lot of time you say, 'I wish I'd said this or said that.' But I think tomorrow's debate is important because it's the first one we've had over in this district."
The Shows-Pickering debate is sponsored by WTOK-TV, Comcast Cable and MSU-Meridian Student Association.
The public is invited to MSU-Meridian Wednesday night, Oct. 23. The debate will be broadcast live on Channel 11, and will be held in MSU's Kahlmus Auditorium.