Malloy, Foley Face Off in Debate

Malloy, Foley Face Off in Debate Getty Images

Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy and his Republican challenger, businessman and former ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, disagree over the direction of Connecticut's economy but see eye to eye on other issues.

The two went head-to-head in a debate Tuesday shown on live television.

Malloy called Foley’s education plan “a disaster waiting to happen,” while Foley accused Malloy of not doing enough to improve the quality of education around the state.

Both candidates agreed that the state does not need any more casinos and voiced opposition to proposed changes to federal rules concerning tribal recognition.

They also agreed that Connecticut should not legalize marijuana for recreational use, although both admitted to having smoked it.

Each pledged not to raise taxes. Foley committed to lowering the car tax and shaving .5 percent off the state sales tax.

"As governor, I will take an entirely different direction from Gov. Malloy," Foley said. "I'm going to cut taxes, get control of spending. I have a plan for restoring jobs in Connecticut."

He questioned the sincerity of Malloy's promise given his past tax increases.

But Malloy contends he's improved the state's budget situation to the degree that tax increases are unnecessary next year.

"There won't be a deficit. And there won't be tax increases, because I'm taking that pledge when I couldn't take it before, because this is a budget I own," Malloy said.

Malloy also contended that Foley's perspective on taxes may be skewed given that his rate was previously 0 percent.

"If you're a $50,000 wage earner out there, understand that your effective tax rate is 17 percent," Malloy explained. "And Tom's for two years was zero."

Foley countered that argument by explaining "that if you don't have any income in a year, you don't pay taxes."

Unaffiliated candidate for governor Joe Visconti spoke after the debate on the decision not to invite him to participate.

"I'm not upset. The people that nominated me are upset," Visconti said. "Ten thousand five hundred people signed petitions to get me in the race. We are on the ballot."