While the Democratic Party may want you to believe Sen. Andrew Roraback is a “Tea Party Republican,” his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Esty said Tuesday morning during a radio interview that she doesn’t necessarily believe that.
“I don’t say that,” Esty told WNPR’s John Dankosky. “And I’ve said I don’t say that.”
But Esty said the reality is the national Republican agenda with Speaker John Boehner in charge of the U.S. House has “taken an obstructionist path.” She said if Connecticut sends a Republican to Washington to represent the 5th Congressional District, it will only help further that agenda.
Roraback, who is holding a press conference later today, is fighting against what he describes as a mischaracterization of his positions in both an Esty ad and an ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Asked if she would pull the ad, Esty avoided answering the question directly and discussed the need for campaign finance reform and her support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
“I can’t be responsible for messages of outside groups,” Esty said. “And, as I’m sure Mr. Roraback is going to find out soon, he can’t be either.”
Last week, Roraback’s campaign asked television stations to pull an ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that falsely states that he would support U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget.
Roraback has repeatedly said he would not support Ryan’s budget proposal.
But political campaigns often don’t let the facts get in the way politics.
“Democrats have stooped to new lows in trying to falsely vilify an individual whose integrity and record of public service have been verified by voters of every political stripe in the 5th District,“ Chris Cooper, Roraback’s campaign spokesman, said last week. “The Roraback campaign is calling on Elizabeth Esty to insist that these ads be immediately taken off the air because of the outright lies they contain.”
Then there’s Esty’s latest campaign ad which says Roraback would cut the Social Security retirement age, a claim Roraback says is not true.
Roraback countered that it was Esty who told taxpayers upset with a property revaluation they could move out of Cheshire if they didn’t want to pay an increase in property taxes.
Esty’s remarks were made 10 years ago when she had children in the public school system. She said since that time she’s learned to listen to senior citizens and understand what it means to be on a fixed income. Several years after making those remarks, Esty, as a member of the Cheshire Town Council, helped establish a property tax credit program for seniors on fixed incomes.
“I’m a strong defender of both public schools, but also senior citizens,” Esty told Dankosky Tuesday.