NORWICH, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Democratic incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican businessman Tom Foley met Wednesday night in their first debate of the 2014 election for Connecticut governor.
Both appeared Wednesday in Norwich, at the Slater Museum Auditorium on the grounds of Norwich Free Academy. The hour-long event was hosted by The Bulletin newspaper of Norwich.
At the debate, Malloy took issue with the Foley’s business record at a private equity firm, as well as the closure of a Bibb Co. operation in Georgia that shut down after Foley’s firm sold it, according to the website Connecticut News Junkie.
“Tom, you told us it’s going to take eight years for you to solve the problems of the state of Connecticut. You had eight years to solve the problem of Bibb, to protect people’s livelihoods, to figure out how to get the job done, and you failed to do it,” Malloy said. “And now, you’ve offered yourself as a candidate to the people of Connecticut as a successful businessman.”
Foley, in turn, accused Malloy of being anti-business.
“The governor is driving jobs out of the state, and he’s having to bribe people to stay here. He is anti-business. He has anti-business policies. He has an anti-business administration,” Foley said.
He accused Malloy of trying to detract attention from current problems.
“A lot of people can’t afford to live in the state anymore. Way too many people are unemployed, particularly in our cities. Why are you spending so much time looking at some deal I supposedly did in the 1990s? You must spend hours on this,” Foley said.
Malloy retorted, “So let me ask you, Tom, when the companies that you owned failed, did you go to their governors and blame them?” he said.
Foley has said he would like to participate in five to seven debates. A spokesman for Malloy has said the governor is “ready and willing” to participate in as many debates as the schedule allows.
The election will be Nov. 4.
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