PICKERING CHALLENGES CLINTON'S REMARKS
Rejects Presidential candidates slurs against Mississippi
Tuesday, October 23, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, in explaining why she was not doing well in Iowa polls, was quoted in the Des Moines Register saying, "How can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi? That's not what I see. That's not the quality. That's not the communitarianism, that's not the openness I see in Iowa."
Today Congressman Pickering responded, "Senator Clinton clearly doesn't know the people of Mississippi, the people I represent. Her comments were inappropriate, inaccurate, and unnecessary. A candidate for President of the United States should not use stereotypes to define a region of the country. It is sad that a leader like Clinton doesn't understand a state and neighbor, or she simply believes the south is close-minded and lacking in community and quality. Those who seek to lead the entire country should be strong and confident in themselves and in our people."
"Mississippi has a diversity of culture, politics, life, and business- we have leaders across a vast spectrum of backgrounds. Currently Dr. Martha Saunders serves as President of the University of Southern Mississippi and we have elected outstanding female mayors, supervisors, and supreme court justices as well as two Lieutenant Governors, Amy Tuck and Evelyn Gandy. We lead the nation in the number of African American elected officials."
"This is a state whose generosity, according to the IRS, is consistently higher, per capita, than any other state in the nation with charitable contributions. A state who had the first ever heart transplant, lung transplant, and kidney autotransplant. A state who has produced more awarded and honored writers than any other. Mississippi is the birthplace of the blues, of famous athletes, and entertainers."
"After Katrina, we proved the strength and quality of our communities as a unified, strong, and resilient people. You would think that old stereotypes and myths should be put aside after such an event. This shows the difficulty Democrats will have in Mississippi when a leader like Clinton shows no understanding and no respect for the region."
"To overcome this misunderstanding and prejudice, we invite Senator Clinton to visit anytime. We are the hospitality state. I'm sure she'll be impressed with our spirit, resilience, generosity, and strong communities. We weathered Katrina with those character traits. We will forgive her old thinking and give her generous grace. We only ask for her to give us an open mind in return."