WASHINGTON -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal clearly prepared for the Republican presidential undercard debate in Milwaukee on Tuesday by memorizing a long list of economic statistics to compare his record to those of the other current and former governors on stage. He first turned his fire toward Mike Huckabee, the former governor of neighboring Arkansas, by claiming he had failed to cut spending while in office.
When Huckabee objected and said that he in fact lowered spending, Jindal pounced.
"Your record as governor tells a different story," Jindal said, before noting that during Huckabee's tenure, spending in Arkansas increased by 65 percent and taxes went up by 45 percent.
Huckabee tried to respond, but he was cut off by a moderator due to time constraints.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie then picked up the baton and whacked both Jindal and Huckabee by arguing their energy should be spent going after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
"She is the real adversary tonight and we better stay focused as Republicans on her," Christie said, garnering a round of applause. "Hillary Clinton is coming for your wallet, everybody. Don't worry about Huckabee or Jindal, worry about her."
Jindal later sprung a trap for Christie, arguing he had failed to sufficiently trim his state's budget.
"If we send another big government Republican to the White House, we will not do enough to fix what is wrong in this country," Jindal said, ticking off various comparisons between Louisiana and New Jersey and highlighting the credit downgrades the latter has experienced.
"Let's not just beat Hillary, let's elect a conservative to the White House, not just any Republican," Jindal said, arguing that the GOP shouldn't be "a second liberal party."
"If you go to New Jersey, they'll call me lots of different things, but a liberal is not one of them," Christie retorted. He then responded somewhat passive aggressively.
"I think [Jindal has] been a wonderful governor... and I respect him for what he's done, and I think all of us deserve that same level of respect," he said. "The differences between me and Bobby Jindal? We can talk about those -- obviously Bobby wants to spend a lot of time tonight talking about that."
Christie defended his record, pointing out that he's been re-elected as an anti-abortion governor in a blue state that has more registered Democrats than Republicans.
Jindal's response was that "records matter," dinging Christie for expanding food stamps and accepting Medicaid expansion with funding from the Affordable Care Act. He argued that the debate was not about comparing Louisiana to New Jersey, or his record to Christie's, even though the tussle itself was incited by those exact comparisons.
Jindal then took one more dig at Christie, saying he should get "a ribbon for participation, and a juice box."
See the latest updates on the GOP debate here.