Politics

Huckabee, Jindal clash on who really cut state spending, who could reduce federal budget

Nov. 10, 2015: (fr. left.) Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal at GOP presidential debate at Milwaukee Theatre, in Wisc.

Nov. 10, 2015: (fr. left.) Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal at GOP presidential debate at Milwaukee Theatre, in Wisc.  (AP)

Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal had the first sharp exchange in Tuesday night’s early GOP debate -- over who was better at cutting state government and who could do that for the national economy.

“We have seven former and current governors,” said Louisiana governor Jindal. “I’m the only one who cut government spending. If they haven’t done that in their state capitals, what makes us think they could do it if they are sent to” Washington?

Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, responded: “With all due respect to the governor to the state south of me, a lot of us have cut things.”

Huckabee said that 91 percent of his state budget was “basically … educate, medicate and incarcerate” during the 2001-2003 recession. However, he still managed to cut the budget by 11 percent without raising “a bunch” of taxes.

“It’s just not accurate to say nobody else up here has ever cut taxes,” he said.

Jindal fired off a list of numbers in response, including saying taxes increased 47 percent for the average Arkansas resident under Huckabee’s governorship.

“Your record, governor, tells a different story,” he told Huckabee. “That’s not a record of cutting. … Facts don’t lie.”