Post-Foley Conn. Republicans Whine About the Election; Where Were They During the Campaign?

There’s nothing worse than listening to someone give “words of wisdom” after the horse has left the barn. Where were they when the barn door was opening? Such is the case with a number of Republicans who now say Tom Foley was the wrong guy to be the party’s nominee for governor or that the party’s strategy was wrong.

Outgoing state House Minority Leader Larry Cafero—always a real profile in courage—disparages Foley as the “wrong Republican” to be the nominee. Cafero flirted with running himself before deciding against it and endorsing Senate Minority Leader John McKinney. Yet Cafero did little publicly to help McKinney.

Cafero takes exception to Foley saying he did as well as any Republican could in Connecticut. “We represent 119 towns. Does that sound like a blue state to you? On your way out the door, don’t say ‘Republicans can’t win.’ Talk about arrogance,” Cafero told the New Haven Register. If Foley is guilty of arrogance, Cafero is guilty of spinelessness. Where was he during the primary? We didn’t hear any of this “Foley’s the wrong Republican” until now.

Of course, Cafero’s problem with Foley is more personal. Back in the March of 2013, Foley ruffled some feathers—or in Cafero’s case plucked them—when he came to Hartford and railed against what he said was legislators’ conflicts of interests. Talking about Cafero specifically, Foley said, “People are learning that you can be a highly paid partner in a law firm that does lobbying and serve in the legislature…It’s absurd.”

Foley was referring to Cafero’s role both as legislator and partner in a law firm that also has a lobbying operation. When asked directly if Cafero had a conflict, Foley said, “Absolutely.” So we need to take Cafero’s Monday morning quarterbacking with a whole salt shaker.

Also rather annoying is former US Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker, a figure many people, including The Shad, wish would just going away and stay away. He and failed US Senate candidate and former US Rep. Chris Shays are second-guessing Foley and the party’s decision to embrace gun-rights voters. They both say it was mistake for Foley to be in bed with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL).

The CCDL naturally takes exception to being blamed for Foley’s loss. On its blog, CCDL Scott Wilson says of Cafero, Weicker and Shays, “If these defacto election analysts are looking to place blame on anyone, they should look at how certain leaders in the GOP leadership treated gun owners during and after the gun bill hearings in 2013. They joined forces with the anti-gun leadership of the Democratic party and helped them ram through massive gun control.” These gun guys are unhappy.

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