Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley said his decision to pull out of this week’s debate with Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and independent Joe Visconti was the result of a “communication problem” with host NBC 30.
“We’re not participating,” Foley said last week, adding that his campaign could not agree on terms with NBC 30.
“I think in the end it came down to mostly a communication problem. We couldn’t even get NBC 30 to respond to us. So, we have to make our plans, we have to understand what we’re doing.”
Foley told reporters that presidential candidates and debate hosts generally agree on terms before the event. He said that does not happen in Connecticut races.
“They try to reach an agreement on what the format’s going to be, who the questioners and the moderators are going to be, there’s an awful lot of things that have got to be agreed to,” Foley said. “We simply weren’t able to reach an agreement.”
In a statement Friday, NBC 30 said Foley has been invited to participate in the debate and discussions have been ongoing with all three candidates.
Foley said Connecticut voters have been well-served by the five gubernatorial debates that have been held this year and pointed out that he plans to participate in one more before Election Day.
“I think that’s enough for people to understand where I stand, where he stands, to understand the impact of his record on Connecticut,” he said.
But Foley’s decision to sit out the NBC 30 debate on Thursday, Oct. 23, means the Republican is willing to let his two opponents take the stage without him, less than two weeks before what is expected to be a close election.
And Malloy’s comments last week after the debate at the Garde Arts Center suggested he does not plan to take it easy on Foley simply because he won’t be on stage.
“It will be hard to talk about how [Foley] destroyed people’s’ lives and jobs, it’ll be hard to talk about how he moved jobs to Mexico and did those kind of things,” Malloy said. “If he’s not there it’s going to be harder to bring those things up.”