The democrat and republican nominees for governor faced off in their first live debate Monday in Jackson.
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and Haley Barbour attacked each other's records. Musgrove criticized Barbour's long career in Washington.
Barbour countered with a charged that Musgrove is looking for someone to blame for Mississippi's financial shape.
"As governor, departments that report to me will live within their budget. In fact, there's a law," said Barbour.
"When I've presented a budget, it has added up, because it has to," said Musgrove. "It has to be balanced. That's exactly what I've done as governor."
Three other debates are scheduled for Delta State and Mississippi State Universities and on Mississippi public television.