Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says fellow Democrat Chris Murphy needs to fight back when he is attacked by his Republican opponent in the U.S. Senate race.

“I think you know you’ve gotta fight back,” Malloy said after a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Hartford on Thursday morning.

Republican Linda McMahon has a nearly 5-to-1 money advantage over Murphy and, depending upon to whom you speak, she has been able to define the three-term congressman through paid and earned media.

“This is a little bit like the pot calling the kettle black, isn’t it?” Malloy said of McMahon’s attack on Murphy’s personal finances despite declaring bankruptcy herself in 1976 and owing nearly $1 million to her creditors. Murphy had a brush with foreclosure in 2007, but avoided it, shortly after being elected to Congress.

Malloy said Murphy has experienced “what a lot of Connecticut people have experienced over the last 20 years as there has been a gigantic shift to the wealthiest, some might argue at the expense of the middle class.”

At the end of the day “these things have to settle down and sooner or later people have to talk about policies,” he added.