Four Republicans running for governor of Connecticut were asked in a debate last night if they would invite Republican President Donald Trump to campaign for them. They were pressed several times before they all accepted that they would.
Steve Obsitnik, an entrepreneur from Westport and a Navy veteran, was the first candidate to be asked. “I will always support the commander in chief…Do you want him to campaign for you?...I will always support him.”
David Stemerman, a hedge fund manager from Greenwich who’s trying to petition his way onto the GOP gubernatorial primary ballot, was next.
“I share Steve’s view that we always support the commander in chief. What I would say though in our state is that the challenges we face here we need to deal with ourselves…do you want him to campaign for you?..I would be happy to welcome our commander in chief to our state whenever he wants to be here.”
Then it was time for Connecticut Republican Party-endorsed candidate Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury.
“I absolutely would welcome the commander in chief. I too served in the military and I’m proud of my service within the United States Army and would welcome Donald Trump to come here anytime he wants.”
That left former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst to try and pivot from Donald Trump and turn the focus on state Democrats, including outgoing Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and the Democratic Party-endorsed candidate for governor, Ned Lamont.
“We absolutely welcome our President and our commander in chief when he comes to the state of Connecticut. Let me also say this the Democrats want to make this about Washington because they don’t want to talk about their eight-year record of failure.”
That was something all four GOP candidates could agree on. They had similar remedies on how to fix the state’s fiscal woes, boost Connecticut’s economy and stem the outflow of people from the state. Those include reducing taxes, renegotiating public employee union contracts and pensions, and privatizing some government functions like the Department of Motor Vehicles. They also all condemned so-called sanctuary cities like New Haven and Hartford for not working with federal immigration authorities.
The televised debate at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven was sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Realtors and WTNH TV.