Watch now as Republican gubernatorial candidates Pete Hoekstra, Rick Snyder, and Tom George wage a spirited but civil debate on state tax reform, budget cuts, prison and health care spending, and other substantive topics that go way deeper than the largely negative themes of this year’s already shallow campaign ads…
Hoekstra and Snyder — two of the Republican primary front-runners — staked somewhat similar positions by calling for repeal of the Michigan Business Tax and endorsing popular reform ideas that would allow local governments to save money by sharing services at the regional level.
And while veteran Congressman Hoekstra emphasized his executive experience at Herman Miller and his University of Michigan MBA, businessman and venture capitalist Snyder differentiated from traditional Republican themes by pushing quality of place — restoration of central cities, support of arts and culture, and support and protection of natural resources.
George fashioned himself as more of a pugilist, sharply suggesting his opponents were calling for tax cuts they had not accounted for through documented budget cut approaches. George continues to wage a campaign based largely on finding efficiencies and reforms in a Medicaid health care system he says is bloated with waste. George also took a shot at the two GOP hopefuls — Mike Cox and Mike Bouchard — who did not attend Tuesday night’s debate in Grand Rapids.
“If the best you can do is drive around the state in a big bus… and duck debates… then you are not fit to be governor,” George said.