By Matthew Q. Clarida
The gloves came off as John McKinney and Tom Foley, two Republican hopefuls for governor, squared off on the economy, spending, and Common Core in a debate Thursday.
The hourlong forum was held at the Courant’s offices and moderated by the paper’s Christopher P. Keating and Laurie Perez of Fox CT.
McKinney, a state senator from Fairfield and the Republican leader in the senate, was aggressive from the start, attacking Foley for a spending plan McKinney claimed would offer little change from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s. Foley pledged to hold spending flat, while McKinney has consistently proposed cuts.
“We need to be honest with the people of the state of Connecticut: I have the only plan to reduce spending, in real dollars, in the state of Connecticut,” McKinney said.
McKinney stayed on the offensive when asked about his tax plan. Like Foley, he said that he would cut taxes, but he attacked his opponent for a recent advertisement which said that McKinney has voted with Malloy to raise taxes.
“[Foley] is running as an outsider but his commercial is like that of a typical politician, distorting the facts,” McKinney said.
Foley continued his charge that McKinney, who has served in the state Senate since 1999, is part of a dysfunctional insider’s club in Hartford.
“John McKinney has been in the legislature for 15 years. He’s part of the problem,” Foley said.