Candidates weigh in after heated gubernatorial debate

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY)- Following tonight’s gubernatorial debate, candidates weighed on their performances and took a few questions from the media.

Tonight we are in Baton Rouge for live team coverage of the debate.

Some intense moments from tonight’s incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards and Congressman Ralph Abraham, which was something businessman Eddie Rispone says worked in his favor.

“I think we showed people what we need. We need somebody from the outside, he conservative, someone to get things done,” Rispone said after the debate. Not sit there and argue back-and-forth about policies and raising taxes or not raising taxes.”
Behind the back and forth between the governor and the congressman was what Abraham says was a point to get the truth on the table.

Something he says the governor has done a poor job of.
“The governor can’t spin these figures anyway he wants. He can read the data. The truth is we are 50 out of 50,” Abraham said.

Edwards claimed Abraham’s accusations were based on false information, but said the claims didn’t surprise him.

“When you’re running first and that’s what’s going to happen,” Edwards said. “I certainly wasn’t surprised. I thought he could’ve been more truthful because every attack that I heard tonight was an absolute fabrication.”

With only 60 seconds to answer questions during the debate, one topic Edwards expounded on was the benefits of Medicaid expansion.


“Medicaid expansion has been extremely positive for our state. We sent over $317 million instead of general funds because we took our federal tax dollars back from Washington and expanded Medicaid here,” Edwards said. “Incredibly important delivering better health outcomes and we’re actually saving people’s lives.”

Abraham said his background in health care makes him more knowledgeable on how to improve the program.
“I am the doctor in the room. I treat that patient and I understand that there is so much waste, fraud, and abuse and I truly understand there are people that need that program,” Abraham said. “I want to make it better.”


Rispone took a different approach, saying job creation is a top priority; adding that providing people with better paying jobs can limit the amount of people who need assistance with medical bills.


“Career politicians and just keep kicking the can down the road. If they have a problem, raise taxes, spend my money, ask for a promotion,” Rispone said. “That’s what they do. We don’t do that in business. If we don’t perform and get fired. I think it’s time we fire some of these politicians and get somebody from the outside I can get things done.”


There you have it, a bit of a look at how each candidate walked away from tonight’s first gubernatorial debate. And naturally, each of them believe the night went in their favor.

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