Former Gov. John Rowland offered Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley some political advice Monday on his radio show, calling the ethical allegations Foley recently leveled at the current governor “a little bizarre.”
Rowland, who hosts an afternoon radio show on WTIC-AM, devoted a five-minute segment Monday to accusations Foley made on an episode of “Face The State” that aired Sunday. During the show, Foley made a number of ethical allegations against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Rowland said the 2014 governor’s election has “started out ugly.”
“Let me just say this: Politics 101, the candidate does not sling the mud. Politics 101, it’s right in the manual. If you get the candidate’s manual and you open up the first page, it says politicians do not sling the mud themselves, personally,” he said.
Rowland called Foley’s willingness to make allegations without substantiating them “a lot of chutzpah.”
“You make charges against someone, I don’t care whether it’s a challenger or the incumbent, you better have the information. You better substantiate,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never seen anything like this before. This is a little bit bizarre.”
Rowland, a Republican who resigned as governor in 2004 before serving time in a federal prison on corruption charges, said Foley should prepare to be “pounced on” by the state’s media.
“Within 24 hours there’ll be a Hartford Courant editorial pounding Foley because they are in total, total defense mode of Malloy. They have been since Day 1,” he said.
Rowland said Foley should not count on the Connecticut media to substantiate the claims for him. Rowland said the press “in this blue state” is unwilling to pursue allegations against Democrats because of a double standard.
On Sunday, Foley called on Malloy to respond to the allegations. Malloy spoke briefly about Foley’s comments, calling them “factually incorrect.” Rowland suggested Foley should call another press conference of his own.
“He should have a press conference and explain the charges. Otherwise, this thing is going to get bad,” he said. “He opened this ‘Pandora’s Box.’ He came out swinging . . . He’s going to have a long week unless he presents information.”
Foley cut about three checks totaling $2,750 to Rowland’s past campaigns and the former governor appointed him to the Commission on Custody, Divorce and Children. At the time, Foley was going through a custody battle with his ex-wife for their 11-year-old son, according to this Connecticut Post article from 2010.