Though asked to remain silent, the audience could be heard laughing through the many personal attacks launched during the second formal debate for Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, and Democrat John Arthur Eaves Thursday night.
The debate was held on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, and televised statewide by Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
The topics covered health care and personal finance.
"I dare you to dream of what Mississippi can be and a new day where we don't kick our parents off of Medicaid, where our children don't go uninsured, and where big insurance and big tobacco don't decide our health care policies," said Eaves.
"When I was elected governor, we had a health care crisis until we passed tort reform. Don't take my word for it. Ask your doctor," Barbour said.
Barbour was asked why he gave conflicting information to an Associated Press reporter about his personal finances related to his former lobbying firm.
He said he did not give conflicting information.
"When I told Emily Wagster Jan. 15, 2004, that I owned no stock in Barbour, Griffith, Rogers, I owned no stock in Barbour, Griffith, Rogers, at least as of Jan. 13," said Barbour.
"It wouldn't be a problem if we didn't know that twice he vetoed the tobacco- grocery swap and his firm, Barbour, Griffith, Rogers, receives millions from big tobacco companies," said Eaves.
Eaves has filed a suit against tobacco companies. He said in published interview that he sued on behalf of the Ukraine but that the case is held up in the appeals process. Eaves has received money from labor unions and other lawyers.
Mississippians will decide their choice for governor on Nov. 6.