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Musgrove, Barbour tackle distorted records

By By Georgia E. Frye and Steve Gillespie / staff writers
OCt. 11, 2003
Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove said Friday that his chief opponent in the Nov. 4 gubernatorial election is hiding from his record as a Washington, D.C., lobbyist.
Republican Haley Barbour, however, countered that Musgrove is hiding from his own record as Mississippi's governor since January 2000.
The two major political party nominees for Mississippi's highest office poked and jabbed at each other during separate interviews with The Meridian Star editorial board.
The governor complained that Barbour has urged the use of more generic drugs for Medicaid recipients "even though we're the only state in the nation that has actually reduced the prescription drug cost."
Meanwhile, Musgrove said, Barbour has received millions of dollars from drug companies to extend 17-year drug patents to 20 years. That, Musgrove said, means it will take longer for some drugs to be available as lower-priced generics.
But Barbour said Musgrove's information is not accurate on a number of issues. Barbour said his skills, experience and relationships in Washington can help turn Mississippi around.
The longtime Republican leader also said he didn't begin his campaign by attacking Musgrove. Instead, he said, Musgrove has been attacking him in political speeches and in television ads.