Shays Touts Moderate Credentials, Experience to AFL-CIO

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Republican Senate candidate Chris Shays knocked fellow Republican Linda McMahon as he sought endorsement from the state\’s AFL-CIO chapter in Hartford on Tuesday.

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Shays, a former 10-term congressman, said that McMahon would do little to protect worker safety and bargaining rights and even mocked one of her campaign\’s themes that she is a loving grandmother.

“Of course we care about our grandchildren. I just wish she cared about your grandchildren,\” Shays said to applause.

The AFL-CIO convention is expected to announce its official endorsements within the next hour.

Shays again reiterated the moderate theme of his campaign this morning in Hartford as he sought an endorsement from the state\’s AFL-CIO members.

Shays seemed to acknowledge that the labor group might not give him its electoral nod and that many people in the room would likely vote in the Democratic primary in mid-August. But he did encourage them to back him in the general election if they agreed with his moderate stances.

“I’m not saying I’m your first choice, but I’d sure as hell like to be your second,\” he said.

But he said that candidates should be open to questions from groups like the AFL-CIO and from the press, including editorial boards of newspapers around the state. McMahon announced yesterday that she will not meet with any editorial boards before the primary election, saying she would be too busy with campaign events to do so.

\”It\’s contempt for the process based on the fact that her knowledge is so thin,\” Shays said to reporters after his address. \”I\’m surprised. I would think after three years she would have done her homework.\”

In response to Shays\’ comments, the campaign released the following statement Tuesday (emphasis added by the campaign): \”Linda McMahon\’s focus is and always has been about the people of Connecticut and their concerns: getting back to work and turning our economy around.\”

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