Political conventions are sometimes the launching point or a testing ground for politicians seeking higher office. But Malloy’s nearly 10-minute speech was not during prime time and his message to delegates didn’t stray too far from the list of the most progressive things Connecticut has done over the past few years.
Malloy highlighted Connecticut’s paid sick leave law, its support of a $10.10 minimum wage, its universal background checks for gun purchases, and it’s decision to get rid of mandatory minimum laws for nonviolent drug offenses.
Malloy opened with his personal story about how he overcame mental and physical abilities, to be successful in college and law school.
On Monday, Malloy told the DNC that his story is an American story.
“Every child — every American — deserves the opportunity to succeed,” Malloy said. “That’s what we stand for as Democratic governors.”
For the past year, Malloy has been the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, which has given him a higher profile. It’s led to rumors in Connecticut that Malloy would seek a position in Hillary Clinton’s administration. Malloy has repeatedly dismissed the rumors.
Malloy has been a surrogate for Clinton’s campaign from the beginning and Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, campaigned on Malloy’s behalf in 2014.
But Democrats have to be cautious about Malloy, who is not well liked in his home state. According to the last Quinnipiac University Poll, only 24 percent of voters approve of the job Malloy is doing.
Also, just days before taking the stage in Philadelphia, U.S. prosecutors convened a grand jury to look into the Democrats’ fundraising efforts to get Malloy re-elected in 2014.
JR Romano, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party, said the Democratic Party is out of touch with reality for letting two governors who are under federal investigation, Malloy and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, take the stage at the national convention.
“How far has the Democratic Party fallen to push out Dan Malloy as a hero?” Romano said Monday.
Neither Democrats nor Malloy were fazed by the recent events.
The Democratic Party has been using Malloy in the past few days as an attack dog against the Republican ticket of Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. He sought to use the speech and his own personal story to illustrate why it’s so important to stand up to people like Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and vice presidential nominee Mike Pence.
“I know something about bullies,” Malloy said after referencing his difficulties with disabilities as a child. “And I know why we must stand up to them. If Donald Trump’s words are bad, his actions are worse, just look at his vice presidential choice, Governor Mike Pence. With the Trump-Pence ticket, it’s like a contest to see who can discriminate the most.”
Malloy said Pence rejected $80 million in federal aid that would have funded pre-k for 4,000 low-income children in his state.
He also signed a law that would discriminate against people based on who they love and how they express that, Malloy said.
“This law cost Indiana’s economy an estimated $60 million dollars in lost business,” Malloy said. “And in another state, North Carolina, a similar law has caused the NBA to move the All-Star game out of the state.”
Malloy was the one to welcome a Syrian refugee family to Connecticut when they weren’t welcomed in Indiana.
“The Trump-Pence ticket brings the worst of the Republican gubernatorial record to the national stage,” Malloy said.