The statewide trend of Democrats being linked to Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republicans being linked to President Donald Trump was ever-present during the first debate between the two major candidates for attorney general.
Republican Sue Hatfield and Democrat William Tong participated in a debate Monday night at NBC Connecticut.
Hatfield, a state prosecutor from Pomfret, took multiple jabs at Tong for being close to Malloy, whose approval ratings have been hovering in the range of 20 percent.
Tong, on the other hand, used every chance he could to connect Hatfield with President Trump, who has higher approvals than Malloy, but not by much.
"I think what Ms. Hatfield is missing is that Donald Trump's attack on Connecticut families is entirely about Connecticut and all of us,” Tong said. “His attack on immigrants across Connecticut. You know why I talk about Donald Trump? because he's coming after people like my parents."
Tong, an attorney from Stamford who was born in Hartford, is the son of Chinese immigrants.
Hatfield, who is vying to become the first Republican attorney general in Connecticut since 1959, criticized Tong for his role in the state budget, voting for tax increases as a member of the General Assembly. She said his attacks on her are meant to distract from more substantive issues. She also said Connecticut is a less safe place now than it was a decade ago.
"It's no wonder why Attorney Tong wants to talk about Donald Trump because he wants to run from his record of raising taxes to a record high and releasing violent criminals from jail which resulted in a triple murder in my hometown of Griswold."
On the issue of crumbling foundations, the two differed on their approach to addressing the crisis. FEMA has also ruled out assistance for homeowners.
Tong said getting sworn statement from insurance executives would be a key move.
“Yes. Plain and simple. Clear as day and I've been specific on what I would do. Not just some nebulous investigation but an investigation under the CT unfair insurance practices act and the CT unfair trade practices act ."
Hatfield was slightly less direct, saying she would want to work across with all stakeholder on a solution and referred to sworn statements from insurance executives who may have known about the issue decades ago, as a sort of last resort.
"If it takes a subpoena, it takes a subpoena but I believe that the people of Eastern Connecticut need answers and they should have been listened to back when Attorney General Blumenthal was in office."