Before, during, and after the first gubernatorial debate, Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone were unable to provide specifics about their plans for Louisiana’s budget, taxes, coasts, and economy.
As more commentators pick up on their lack of specifics, they’re caught between a rock and a hard place: provide details that expose their plans as copies of Bobby Jindal’s failed policies, or talk circles around simple questions.
Here’s what people are saying:
Jim Beam: “The GOP candidates have said a lot about cutting taxes and the state budget, which got the state into trouble during the Jindal years. However, they haven’t given voters any details about what they would cut or how they would do it.” [The American Press, 8/1/19]
- Beam: “Thanks to CABL’s effort to address real campaign issues, we don’t have to rely solely on Abraham and Rispone’s constant attacks on Edwards and their lack of detail when they talk about cutting the budget and cutting taxes.” [The American Press, 9/8/19]
Stephanie Grace: “Democratic incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards had a much more detailed answer. He was the only candidate to zero in on the root of the current controversy, the use of flavors to attract young users. … That wasn’t the only time in the hour that Edwards’ answers were more detailed and sure-footed than those of his opponents, neither of whom has ever served in state government.” [The Advocate, 9/19/19]
Melinda Deslatte: “Edwards replied with economic statistics that he said document a thriving Louisiana economy. Neither Abraham nor Rispone detailed where they would cut state spending to balance a budget with less tax revenue.” [The Associated Press, 9/19/19]
- Deslatte: “Abraham and Rispone pledge to roll back the 0.45% state sales tax that is the centerpiece of the tax deal. They haven’t detailed how they’d balance the budget with less money, saying only that they’d make government more efficient and end wasteful spending.” [The Associated Press, 9/17/19]
- Deslatte: “Ralph Abraham and Eddie Rispone can describe the many ways they believe Edwards has done a poor job as Louisiana’s top leader. But they grow vague when pushed for specificity about how they’d accomplish change.” [The Associated Press, 9/8/19]
- Deslatte: “Abraham didn’t detail how he could cut taxes as he proposes and find millions to increase spending on law enforcement. He talked of eliminating sales tax exemptions to free up cash and said ‘there are pots of money that nobody’s talking about,’ without offering further explanation.” [The Advocate, 8/1/19]
Sam Karlin: “The candidates offered few specific policy ideas for enticing industry to reduce emissions. Rispone’s campaign has mentioned potentially offering tax credits for green energy but has said the campaign is still hashing out details.” [The Advocate, 9/8/19]
- Karlin: “Abraham promised a hefty increase of $7 to $10 a day to the per diem rate for sheriffs housing state inmates in local jails, which is money that is paid by the state directly to sheriffs. He did not say where specifically he would get the millions of dollars to pay for it, saying instead the “money is there” in the budget.” [The Advocate, 8/1/19]
Mark Ballard: “Little, if any, details of what they plan to do as governor have been articulated in public. … Instead, Rispone’s campaign is relying on spots aimed at President Donald Trump’s coattails. Similarly, Abraham also stresses links to Trump, who remains popular in Louisiana, but little on details about his policies.” [The Advocate, 8/31/19]
“We’ve already tried the approach where a candidate runs for governor first and figures out the details later, and it led to a $2 billion deficit and deep cuts to higher education and essential services. Gov. Edwards understands every corner of Louisiana’s budget and government. That’s why he won the first debate, and it’s why he looks forward to making his case directly to the people of Louisiana and continuing to move our state in the right direction,” said Richard Carbo, campaign manager for John Bel for Louisiana.