Tonight’s gubernatorial runoff debate is the last-ditch effort for Republican governor candidates Tate Reeves and Bill Waller Jr. to show voters here in Mississippi they’re the best fit for the job.
Waller Jr. said, “Education, healthcare, infrastructure are the pillars of any kind of economic development. I think conservatives should be interested in economic development.”
Reeves said, “I believe that if you’re a true conservative, you do not support Obamacare expansion in Mississippi. I believe if you are a true conservative, you’re not for raising taxes in Mississippi.”
Tonight’s gubernatorial runoff debate lasted only 30 minutes, but as you can see it was chalk full of hot topics. “Being conservative isn’t sticking your head in the sand,” said Waller Jr. “Being conservative is meeting the problem and coming up with solutions.”
Reeves said, “If I might, because Judge Waller mentioned that several times, a lot of naming dropping going on and he mentioned President Trump.”
The former chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, Waller highlighted the importance of Medicaid expansion stating that more than three dozen rural hospitals could close without it.
“When the Obamacare was passed they actually cut out a rule, hospital subsidy, and we’re under the assumption that states will follow it. So, I’m a conservative and I think everyone in the viewing area knows that Mike Pence is a conservative, in fact Donald Trump hired his Medicaid director so we could have conservative solutions. So Mississippi is neck deep in Medicaid. We have one of the largest participations in the country to say that this is new or novel is just disingenuous.”
While current Lt. Governor Reeves stood strong on economic policy, job creation, and growth. “I’ll tell you it is very important that we have a governor who is focused on job creation and bringing better and higher paying jobs to our state. I will tell you that raising taxes is not a good solution to growing our state’s economy. In fact if you look at what’s happening in our state in the last eight years what you see is Mississippi today has the lowest unemployment rate at any time in our history. Mississippi has more people working today than at any time in our history. In addition to that Mississippi has over 88,000 people working today than working eight years ago.”
In the primary election, Reeves received nearly 49 percent of the vote, falling just under the 50 percent plus one he needed to secure the Republican nomination for governor. Waller picked up more than 33 percent of the primary vote. I respect him, I just don’t agree with a lot of his policies. I think Obamacare was a mistake. Judge Waller would expand Obamacare in our state and add 300,000 more Mississippians to the government rolls,” said Reeves.
Waller said, “My pledge to the people is that with my experience, 29 years in the military, 10 years ahead of a branch of service which is unique, I am the candidate to win in November.”