After nearly a week of television ads from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s campaign, Republican Tom Foley responded Tuesday with his own commercial calling Malloy’s attacks “desperate” and “sad.”
Malloy, the Democratic incumbent, began a negative ad campaign against Foley almost immediately after Foley won the Republican nomination last Tuesday. Foley’s primary victory ensured a November rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial race, when Malloy narrowly defeated Foley.
In a television commercial and during his party’s annual fundraising dinner, Malloy hammered Foley over the past week. He has used footage from a press conference last month in Sprague to paint the wealthy Republican as hostile to working people.
Foley’s new ad, called “Hurting,” features a closeup and sepia-toned picture of Malloy as a narrator says Malloy’s attacks have been motivated out of desperation.
“Dan Malloy is desperate. That’s why he’s falsely attacking Tom Foley. It’s sad Malloy can’t defend his policies that have failed so miserably and Connecticut’s hurting,” the narrator says.
The female narrator then gives a series of negative bullet points.
“The largest tax increase in state history. Our economy struggles. Jobs are hard to come by. Companies are leaving,” the narrator says.
Malloy’s 2011 tax increase was technically the second largest tax increase in the state’s history, following former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker’s institution of the state income tax back in 1991.
The commercial switches gears and shows snippets of Foley chatting and shaking hands with people. The narrator says Foley will take Connecticut in a “new direction” then lists some generally positive things like jobs, “lower taxes, the best schools in America.”
Foley paid for the ad out of his own pocket while he waits for the State Elections Enforcement Commission to release his $6.5 million public financing grant for the general election, according to his campaign. The ad was produced by Doug McAuliffe Strategic + Creative, a firm based in Virginia.
Mark Bergman, a spokesman for Malloy’s campaign, called the ad a distortion of the governor’s record. In a statement, Bergman said the state has seen private sector job growth, lower unemployment, and improved high school graduation rates under Malloy.
“Tom Foley will do whatever he can to run away from his record of destroying jobs, bankrupting companies and insulting Connecticut workers who are about to lose their jobs. So he’s trying to distort the progress Connecticut has made over the last four years to avoid talking about the damage he would inflict on our state in the next four,” he said.
Foley was not the only one to attack Malloy’s record this week. On Monday, a conservative super PAC called Grow Connecticut began airing a commercial called “Good Intentions,” which suggests that Malloy has failed to deliver on promises to improve the economy, create jobs, and help the middle class.
“Instead, he delivered the largest tax increase in state history, we’re ranked at the bottom to do business in. No wonder people want to leave in record numbers,” a narrator says while citations from news reports are superimposed over highway road signs.
The group that paid for the commercial is largely funded by the Republican Governors Association, whose chairman New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, has campaign for Foley and promised to have a presence in Connecticut until November.
The RGA released its own statement Tuesday morning calling the race between Foley and Malloy one of the “most competitive” in the country.
“The Malloy campaign is running scared,” RGA Communications Director Gail Gitcho said.
The Democratic Governors Association has also bankrolled a super PAC in Connecticut called Connecticut Forward. The group has spent about $12,000 to produce its own ad against Foley but, as of the last filing, had not yet purchased media time for it.