There is not a more fair-minded, affable journalist in Connecticut than NBC-Connecticut’s Gerry Brooks. Yet Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley couldn’t find it in him to appear in a debate moderated by Brooks Thursday. It’s a colossal mistake. Not just because Foley has lost his slight lead—and apparently his momentum—in the polls. But also because Foley chose instead to appear on WFSB’s “Face the State.” Host Dennis House is no shrinking violet and likely asked even tougher questions than Foley would have faced in the debate.
The whole debate “controversy” only goes to further the appearance (and probably the reality) that Foley is clueless. Foley went on WNPR radio this week and claimed a lack of communication with Brooks and NBC-CT led to him skipping the debate. Brooks appeared a day later and flatly rejected that assertion.
Ironically, if he was looking for a free pass, Foley likely didn’t get it from House. House likely exposed the fact that Foley has no transportation policy, no idea about housing issues and other than his standard, “I’ll improve the business climate,” Foley has no plan for Connecticut’s future.
In the end, the debate pretty much a snooze and was simply Gov. Dan Malloy hammering Foley with no chance for the Republican to respond. There was an apocalyptic suggestion from petitioning candidate Joe Visconti that union toadie Jonathan Pelto should be state education commissioner.
There was also a spirited exchange between Malloy and Visconti on gun control. (How many of you watching were privately wondering whether Joltin’ Joe was packin’ heat on stage?)
There is a reason Malloy’s numbers are on the move.