Sen. John McKinney, who represents Newtown and supported stricter gun control measures, told the Quiet Corner Tea Party Patriots on Tuesday that if he was governor and the legislature sent him a repeal of the gun bill he would sign it.
The Connecticut Democratic Party, which captured the video of McKinney’s remarks by using a video tracker, called it “political pandering.”
An audience member asked McKinney, “If the Republicans took over the General Assembly and they put forward a repeal of SB 1160, if you were elected governor would you sign it?”
“If the legislature repeals something, I think the governor owes a great deference to what the legislature does, and I would,” McKinney replied.
In a phone interview Wednesday, McKinney said the likelihood that it would happen is slim.
McKinney said what the video the Democratic Party didn’t share with the media would include his stand on his vote. It would also include him saying that if he was elected governor he would not call for repeal of the bill and would start working on reducing state spending and fixing the tax code.
He said he knew the danger of answering a hypothetical question.
“I refuse to duck those types of questions,” McKinney said. “I think answering those questions honestly is the opposite of pandering.”
Connecticut Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said that just because it’s a hypothetical doesn’t give McKinney the ability to “backtrack on a big vote and pander to the crowd he’s in front of.”
McKinney said he knew he was speaking to a group of 25 to 30 people who did not support his vote on the bill. He maintained his support for the legislation. But he said the legislature is the “will of the people” and if the legislature repealed something, as governor he would have to give it deference.