Candidates battle it out on policy, conservative values

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV)- We wanted to know what separates these two men and who could represent republicans best against democratic nominee Jim Hood. The candidates battled it out on their differences in policy and what it means to be a true conservative.

To start off the debate, the first question centered around Medicaid expansion.

“In the state of Louisiana somewhere between 3 and 5,000 Louisiana residents are being moved every single month,” said Lt. Governor Tate Reeves. “That’s between 40- 60,000 Louisianans residents are being moved from private insurance onto government health care that’s a bad solution for Mississippi.”

“It’s good for the citizens. It lowers the cost of health care,” said retired state supreme court chief justice Bill Waller Jr. “It would be a billion dollars a year to our 115 hospitals, over 60,000 employees, no taxpayer expense. The track record is there. The need is there.”

The candidates laid out their plans for Mississippi’s economy

“We are making tremendous progress in our economic activity,” said Reeves. “We have more work to do. It’s why I proposed $100 million
in workforce training. If we are going to continue economic growth in Mississippi, it is critical that we train and retrain our workforce not for our jobs in the last 50 years, but for our jobs in the next 50 years.

“Between 2010 and 2015 we lost population in three of the last four years so we’ve got work to do on our economy so my plan is the education, health care, roads and bridges, we would see an immediate turn around in the economy, a billion dollars a year in health care alone would make a huge stimulus in this economy,” said Waller.

Reeves released an ad after the primary election critical of Waller saying he wasn’t a conservative. Waller responded with his own ad. During the debate, the question came up.

“I believe if you are a conservative, you do not support Obamacare expansion in Mississippi,” said Reeves. “If you are a true conservative you are not for raising taxes in Mississippi. Conservatives believe in less government, in less regulation in less taxes, more individual freedoms.”

“I think a true conservative wants to make sure we have trained, competent, teachers in the classroom,” said Waller. “I think a true professional isn’t going to let 31 hospitals close. I think a true conservative is going to take action and roll their sleeves up.”

Wednesday night’s debate could make a difference for voters
in next week’s election.

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