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Gov. Malloy’s final words

January 6, 2019

Editor’s note: In his final session with the Hearst Connecticut Media Group’s Editorial Board, Gov. Dannel Malloy defended his record, took digs at his Republican colleagues, and mused about Connecticut as “the place where the glass that can only be half empty was invented.”

On his low approval ratings: “I never tried to be popular. I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I’ve spent my hours here trying to make the state better, even if people don’t understand that yet.”

On his better ratings in other states: “I am celebrated in every state but Connecticut. You go to any state and talk about corrections reform and they point to Connecticut. You go to any state and ask about criminal justice reform and they talk about Connecticut. You go to any state and talk about education reform and they’ll talk about Connecticut. Health care reform, they’ll talk about Connecticut. ... The inability of people in Connecticut to give themselves credit for what they’ve actually done is incredible.”

On recent campaign trail rhetoric: “Every candidate said ‘the state is bleeding jobs’ when the state was actually adding one hundred thousand jobs. ... Pfizer now has more employees in the state of Connecticut than it had in January of 2011. Electric Boat now has more employees than they had. Pratt and Whitney now has more employees than they had. Sikorsky has more employees than they had. You can’t get good news out.”

On the state’s crippling pension liability: “People don’t understand this. We’ve actually solved the immediate problem with the state pensioners. First of all, we actuarially funding the pensions. I’m the first governor to do that. ... Now it’s part of a fund that’s not partially funding, but we have solved the problem going out into the future.”

On transportation: “This unwillingness to do what we really need to do on transportation on the Republicans’ part is nothing but signing one’s own death warrant.”

On his final political strategy: “One of the things I did to make sure a Democrat got elected in this state was to keep my mouth shut this last year. The stupidity of the Republicans’ campaign was that they were running against a guy who already said he wasn’t running anymore. And they never offered policy. It was really one of the dumber concepts of how to win an election in the time of Trump.”

On President Donald Trump: “The brilliance of Trump is he lied to everyone and everyone could decide which lies they wanted to accept.”

On Republicans: “Republicans have somehow forgotten how many people are gay, lesbian, transgender. How many people have religious belief other than theirs. How many people have come from another nation in a single generation.”

On Gov.-elect Ned Lamont: “He’s a very decent soul, he really is. We went head to head in 2010, but I never thought he was anything but a very good person.”

On plans to continuing as a champion of gun safety: “I’m always happy to take on the NRA.”

On leaving office: “I’m going to love being in a car by myself. Love going to a grocery store or CVS and not have someone a few feet away from me following me, watching me.”

On moving: “I’ve got so much crap.”

On his future: “My future is not in electoral politics. But I’m not going away. I’m not going to change what I think and what I say.”

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