Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Arthur Eaves Jr. on Tuesday leveled his harshest criticism of Gov. Haley Barbour to date, saying the incumbent Republican governor “typifies and represents the culture of political corruption.”
A Barbour campaign spokesman said those and other statements Eaves made at a Clarion-Ledger editorial board meeting were lies and personal attacks. But political watchers said the comments are the only available option for Eaves in a campaign that has trailed in fundraising and been mostly ignored by his main competition.
“If we had polling every week on the governor’s race, it would show a pretty wide gap (between Eaves and Barbour),” said Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis Institute at Mississippi State University. “You can’t close that gap by just being benign on the issues. You have to do something to draw attention to your campaign.”