The governor and Foley are engaged in a rematch after Malloy, the first Democrat in that office in two decades, beat Foley by 6,404 votes in 2010. The debate was held at
Foley accused the governor of employing "Malloy math" in his budgeting, while Malloy talked about the workers the former ambassador to
There were only a few interruptions from the crowd of 400 listeners, with each campaign allowed 100 tickets to make sure their supporters were there.
The debate, moderated by Norwich Bulletin Editorial Page Editor
They disagreed on everything.
Malloy said crime is dropping at a higher average in
Malloy apologized for his infamous remark that all teachers have to do to get tenure is "show up for four years." The governor said it was "bad language" and he shouldn't have said it.
Foley, who hasn't made clear which provisions of the state's new stricter gun law he supports, did agree that he believes in background checks, but thought other portions of the law make law-abiding citizens criminals. He said keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill depends on how severly ill they are.
Malloy said the provisions of the law were a matter of safety and not "inconvenience," as Foley has said in his criticisms of the legislation.
"Laws are meant to be obeyed," he said.
Hackett asked whether state troopers would go to the 200 people the state knows have not registered their weapons and charge them.
The governor said they might be in compliance, while Foley said as governor he would make sure they would not be prosecuted.
Foley said he has told Malloy of his concerns with the gun law, but the governor said they never had such a conversation, labeling it another example of Foley not being truthful.
The Republican contender said he communicates with the governor through the press. "I tell you things through Capitol Report," he said, referring to an Internet aggregator website.
Malloy talked about the 60,000 private sector jobs added during his administration and the investments in small businesses and the more controversial millions in tax credits for larger corporations with high paying jobs as laying the foundation for more job growth.
Foley took issue with that and said he feels like the two of them are living in two different states, as he hears nothing but complaints from people who are making less, with close to half the population ready to move out of
Foley disputed Malloy's claims that his administration has made progress in righting the state's economy. He called job growth under Malloy "anemic" and said the first-term Democrat has driven jobs out of
"Governor, this is not working," said Foley. "We have the worst job recovery rate or one of the worst in the country."
The governor said he has raised the spending of state tax dollars an average of 2.8 percent, while his Republican predecessors boosted spending an average of 4.5 percent. He also added how he successfully pushed to raise the state's minimum wage to
"You can say as many bad things as you can about me, but I take pride in what we're doing," Malloy said. "We're building a stronger and better
But Foley said separating out federal funding distorts the picture. "You are twisting the numbers, stop doing that," he said.
Foley's main pitch is that he has been a businessman for more than three decades and he knows how to encourage more growth here, but the Malloy campaign is again using Foley's tenure at the
It has also stressed the
Foley asked why Malloy was spending so much time on the Bibb history, which he said was irrelevant. He called it insulting to the voters. "This has nothing to do with the future of
Foley, after winning the Republican primary over state Senate Minority Leader
"You had eight years to solve the problems of the Bibb company to protect people's livelihoods ... but you failed," Malloy said. "When the company you owned failed, did you go to their governor and blame him?" This time his side of the room roared their approval.
Foley referred to
Bibb went into bankruptcy under Foley's management in 1996 and two years later was closed by a subsequent owner.
The company took some
Most polls have shown the candidates in a dead heat, although a recent Rasmussen poll shows Foley 7 points ahead, 45 percent to 38 percent, while the
At least three more debates or forums are planned for the gubernatorial candidates:
--Keep the Promise is sponsoring one on mental health,
--A debate sponsored by Ct.Mirror, the
--A forum led by
The Associated Press contributed to this story. Have questions, feedback or ideas about our news coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the
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