Tom Foley provided reporters with myriad reasons he won't appear Thursday at a gubernatorial candidate forum hosted by NBC Connecticut.
Foley insisted his campaign could never “come to terms” with NBC Connecticut.
When asked what would be his version of a “perfect debate format,” Foley responded by saying, “I don’t know. I don’t determine that.”
NBC Connecticut executives released the following statement earlier in the week regarding participation in the forum:
“All candidates on the ballot have been invited to participate in the NBC Connecticut Gubernatorial Forum on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., including Mr. Foley. Mr. Foley meets all the criteria to participate. We’ve had ongoing discussions with all the candidates on a consistent basis and welcome their participation.”
Gov. Dan Malloy said he’s not fazed by the prospect appearing on stage alongside only petitioning candidate Joe Visconti.
"I'm hoping we'll have a good discussion about how bad Tom Foley would be for the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said following a forum hosted by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities on Tuesday.
Political observers say Foley’s absence may not factor much into the results of the election.
“We’re two weeks out,” said Jerold Duquette, a political science professor at Central Connecticut State University. “The undecided voter is a very small group of people. The polls may tell us that 8 percent are undecided. That's probably inflated. The vast majority of folks who will actually show up have already decided."