Cafero on Foley loss: ‘He was the wrong Republican’

House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (Hugh McQuaid photo)
House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (Hugh McQuaid photo)
The aftermath
The aftermath

HARTFORD, Conn. – Republican Tom Foley’s loss to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday and his commentary on the race are not sitting well with outgoing House Minority Leader Larry Cafero.

Malloy held on Tuesday through a close rematch with Foley, his 2010 Republican rival. Although the race was expected to be close, Malloy’s victory came as a surprise to many Republicans who saw vulnerability in the Democrat’s consistently low approval rating. Malloy has never reached 50 percent approval in public opinion poll.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Cafero called the loss disappointing for state Republicans, but he said he took offense to a statement by Foley alleging he had done as well as anyone in the party could have done in Connecticut.

“Wrong. He was the wrong Republican,” Cafero said, pointing to gains his caucus made Tuesday in House races. “We represent 119 towns. Does that sound like a blue state to you? On your way out the door, don’t say ‘Republicans can’t win.’ Talk about arrogance.”

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.




10 responses to “Cafero on Foley loss: ‘He was the wrong Republican’”

  1. Piberman

    Maybe the question should be why did Republicans renominate someone who had not previously run for elective office and could not (or would not) articulate a clear policy on how he would govern if elected. Anyone who watched the Governor present his “victory speech” understood that here was a “fire in the belly” candidate who thoroughly enjoyed the political life. And enjoyed “working the crowds”. Don’t the Republicans in CT have anyone with “fire in the belly” ? Besides Larry Cafero. Or is the Party just for wealthy gentlemen seeking accolades to our highest office. Without working at it. Gov. Malloy will be much harder to defeat next time.
    Will the Republicans find a candidate with “fire in the belly” ? Or just another wealthy gentleman. Not even the Shadow knows !

  2. John Levin

    I agree with Peter Berman, 99%. I’m not sure about the Shadow part. And I agree with Larry Cafero 100% – Foley was an awful candidate, especially the 2nd time around. CT’s state republican party screwed up big time by letting Foley run again.

  3. John Hamlin

    @piberman — absolutely right. The Republicans have a death wish — if they wanted to win they would have nominated McKinney or someone who had experience in CT government (or even in government) for the highest state office. And someone with a platform that he or she had the ability to communicate. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, the only way the two party system works is if there are two viable parties. And the Republicans are no longer a viable opposition party. Linda McMahon, Tom Foley, who next?

  4. Mike Mushak

    An honest appraisal by Mr. Cafero and the commenters above. We are a state affected to its very core with the shocking nightmare of Sandy Hook, and we rejected the extremist NRA advocate Foley who got a B plus grade for gun rights, while the NRA F-graded McKinney was closer to the CT public in his sensible gun control positions. Sandy Hook may be 40 minutes away form Norwalk, but the images and emotion of that unthinkable Christmastime tragedy, and the losses of the families and friends of the 26 victims, will always be with us no matter how much time passes. Christmas or Hannukah in CT will never be the same for anyone in this state, and the extreme positions of the NRA will never be accepted either. That is a valuable lesson for the GOP to take heed of.

    Malloy and the Democrats embraced sensible gun control after that tragedy, and that was a very courageous position in this toxic political climate where the well-finaced gun industry-backed NRA has a “take no prisoners” mentality that is even too extreme for many NRA members and responsible gun owners.

    I was a Democratic poll captain at Kendall School on Tuesday from 6 AM to 8 PM, and greeted most of the 1300 voters of all affiliations who showed up that day at that location (and thanked them for voting as they left). It was a lot more interesting than it sounds (although I was struck that there was no GOP poll captain present except occasional visits from candidates), and the long day seemed to pass by fast actually. Many people specifically mentioned the gun rights issue, and I suspect there were many moderate Republicans (yes, they still exist!) who crossed party lines, voted 3rd party, or even left blanks (which we had many of) by not voting for any candidate as a result.

    Many people like Mr. Cafero and many Democrats now think McKinney may have won the general election if the extreme right wing gun rights groups hadn’t clobbered him in the primary, and I agree. So, a big thank you to the extremists from in-state and out-of-state who made sure Malloy, who I strongly support including his sensible gun policies to help protect the public, was re-elected.

  5. piberman

    Its an old dictum in politics – “to win you need a platform that everyone understands”. And “fire in the belly”. Mr. Foley didn’t have either. Neither at the outset nor at the end other than “we can do better than the Governor”. In contrast the Governor readily rattled off his “achievements and vision”. The really interesting speculation is whether Mr. Cafero would have been successful as the GOP candidate. That would have been real “interesting”. Mr. Cafero does know how to speak clearly and he has more “fire” than anyone in GOP ranks. But that would have required a “personal fortune” and a strong local GOP as a support base.
    Despite his narrow victory we ought to give the Governor his due. He is a very competent and articulate politician from the old school who enjoys politics and its inherent combativeness. Anyone watching his “victory speech” could only be impressed that he has “fire in the belly”. The contrast with Mr. Foley’s “aw shucks” remarks was awesome. Politics really is an “apprenticeship game”. Not a wealthy person’s game. When we have the right combination as with FDR the results are awesome. So time to end the Monday morning quarterbacking.
    The Governor won because he had the “better game”. And truly enjoyed playing on the field. Will the GOP learn from fielding wealthy candidates without understandable platforms ? Not even the tooth fairy knows. The Governor will be a far more formidable candidate 4 years hence because the CT economy will continue to improve and won’t have the fall out from an unpopular President. Maybe he’ll seek out more competent budget and economic advisors – experienced professionals. Maybe he’ll undo Gov. Weicker’s tragic blunder of making the state unduly dependent on the income tax. But the foreseeable future CT will remain one of the remaining “true blue” states. Its citizens like the idea of transferring income from the wealthier residents. Its good politics, not so good for employment.

  6. independent voice

    Let us keep in mind Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Don’t speak ill of your fellow Republican.” Tom Foley is a good man and was our best chance to defeat Malloy.

    The bigger question is how to penetrate the left’s propagandist machine by creating wedge issues that detract from the serious problems facing the state. It amazes me how some our led to believe that Malloy’s gun legislation has made us any safer and that somehow women need the left to secure their birth control.

    Unfortunately, Connecticut was not able to participate in the Republican tidal wave that took hold across the nation and it will likely take another four years of anti-growth and bigger taxes/spending to wake up the masses here and secure Republican leadership.

  7. Scott

    Mr. Mushak you are absolutely correct that the irrational fear of guns won this election for Malloy. What you don’t realize is that most gun owners support universal background checks but are upset by the ban on hcms and “assault” weapons. These laws in no proven way save lives. The only way would be if guns never existed and bad people were never born. The second amendment was created with a purpose that will always be valid in this country. To not recognize it is a long trip down a rocky path

  8. Tim D

    @Mike Mushak – Foley would not be considered an extremist NRA advocate. You must be referring to Visconti who ran mostly on that platform.

  9. TLaw

    @Tim D – Sounds about right! The problem is that people get so caught up on their own agenda and they don’t even notice the facts.

    @Mike – 2nd Amendment isn’t going anywhere.

  10. John Hamlin

    Gun rights aren’t going to get the economy to recover. And CT is not going to roll over and vote Republican for the sake of some gun rights extremists. Maybe time to realize that if you want to lose elections in CT, cling to the 2nd amendment and get left in the cold.

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