They are on the ballot. Donald Trump is at the top of their ticket. It’s not unreasonable to ask if they support Trump. Hearst Connecticut Media asked the 63 candidates for the state legislature or Congress. Thirty-seven refused to answer. The word “cowardice” comes to mind (ok, it’s a bit harsh). There is no implication here that voters should decide who to vote for based solely on support or opposition to Trump. But it is fair to ask whether the support him and fair to factor it into their decision.
To be sure, there are more important issues for Connecticut voters to consider than support for Trump. The state’s finances continue to be a mess. Despite Gov. Malloy’s administration trying to pull the hidden ball trick on Comptroller Kevin Lembo by asserting there is no projected budget deficit. Turns out there is; artificially made relatively small but a deficit nonetheless.
Malloy has also had to layoff state workers, cut services and is generally disliked in the state. State Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano makes an excellent point in saying that support or opposition for Trump should not be a litmus test for state office. But the thought here is that it should be a consideration. Support for Trump may say something about how a potential state office holder feels about women, the handicapped, war veterans, Mexicans, Muslims, and many other issues.
It also may say something about judgement. How does a state legislative candidate justify supporting Trump? Or worse, how does a candidate justify not answering the question about support or opposition for the top of the Republican ticket. “I’m not answering that” is not exactly a profile in courage and may say something about whether they can make tough choices should they be elected.
Connecticut Republican Party Chairman JR Romano blew it when he had the chance to weigh in on Trump’s repulsive Access Hollywood hot mic rant. “I understand the reaction and I hope that we can accept Donald Trump’s apology the same way America and Hillary accepted Bill Clinton’s.” Romano said. Really? That’s what you’ve got? Sad.
Asking any Republican candidate anywhere on the ticket in any state whether they support Donald Trump is, in the end, relevant. It should be answered.