Governor, we had a big night of speeches last night, and you’ll be speaking later today. What are you planning to talk about?
Well, we’re going to continue the process — all the speakers — of making crystal clear the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. We’re for building the middle class, not taking it apart. We’re for building programs that support the building class and allow people who aspire to be in the middle class to move forward. That’s the story that we have to tell and it started to come out pretty brilliantly last night.
Obama is seeing a decline in fundraising dollars everywhere, including Connecticut, where there are some deep blue pockets. Why do you think that is?
I don’t think the President was working as hard at fundraising. Remember he didn’t go through a primary stage, and if he had, I think he would have raised more money. Just recently the President raised about $1.8 million up in Connecticut, so I think he’ll catch up.
What does Obama need to do to excite Connecticut voters?
I think Connecticut voters are pretty excited. Connecticut votes very well in presidential elections, so there’s no apathy about Connecticut. We have a senate rate that’s going to be very close and down to the wire; but the Democrats are going to win that seat as well.
State GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola recently went on the record to say that Connecticut Republicans can be competitive in this year's presidential race. Can they?
No, they can’t. Mitt Romney is not going to win Connecticut, because people understand that he’s about outsourcing. They understand that he has a program that would decimate the middle class of the country. Effectively to pay for his plan, he’d have to raise taxes on the middle class by $2k per family to pay for a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans averaging $256 thousand dollars. And let me tell you this about Connecticut [residents], they understand the value of Obamacare. People have talked about this in the past in negative plans. Well all of a sudden people realize that if they have a son or daughter who is between the ages of 21 and 26, they’re now covered pretty inexpensively on a health care plan, as part of what the President did. Many other things have come about as a result, including (plans) for senior citizens. About 49k of them are no longer losing benefits, because they were considered in the “donut hole.” There are a lot of reasons that ensure we’ll get this job done.
What can a president do for towns and cities in Connecticut, in terms of supporting their infrastructure projects, and why do you think Obama would be the better choice?
Well, here’s a commitment the Obama administration has made to train service. We are seeing hundreds of millions of dollars coming to Connecticut to restore train service, where it once existed on the commuter line, and to modernize Metro North, which is largest train system in the country. He’s also committed to a modern highway system. Just this past week, a couple of our smaller airports got grants under a transportation program this President has championed and Mitt Romney has said it needs to be cut out of the budget.
You spend a lot of time meeting with voters across the state. What's the biggest misunderstanding among Connecticut voters about the nominees?
Republicans are spending a lot of time and energy trying to convince people that America is not in a better place today than it was four years ago, but this president has overseen the creation of over 4.5 million jobs, Osama Bin Laden is dead, the Iraq war has ended, and the Afghan war is being drawn down. Manufacturing jobs have grown for two years in a row, the first time since the early ‘90s that that happened in the United States. This president has a great record to run on, but he’s running against people who spent three days in Florida not talking about their platform or budget and trying to pretend that they are somehow Republicans. That wasn’t a Republican convention; that was a Tea Party convention where they invited a couple of Republicans. We’ve got to correct the information that’s been put out by Republicans.
What have you enjoyed most this week, and what have been some highlights?
Well, I like to work, and I like to work hard. I’ve been asked to represent the President at a number of forums. I just completed one with the North Carolina delegation. I certainly enjoy any time I can spend time hearing from people around the country about some of the best ideas. I’ve had some great conversations with my fellow Democratic governors about how they’re moving their states forward and how they’re working with our President to do that. It’s a great boost. By the way, I think that Michelle Obama’s speech last night will go down as one of the great addresses, not just by a First Lady, by any person who is speaking of The President of the United States.
The following is a transcript of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by The Honorable Dannel Malloy, Governor of Connecticut, at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, September 5, 2012:
I'm here to talk about America's choice in this election, so let me get right to the point. Mitt Romney has said that if he was president and Paul Ryan's budget passed, he would sign it into law. That's what he said, so let's talk about what it would mean.
Medicare would become a voucher program, effectively ending the guarantee of health coverage for millions of senior citizens. Medicaid would be slashed, jeopardizing coverage for millions of children, people with disabilities, and family members in long-term care. Education would be slashed by 20 percent -- from Head Start through college, and everything in between. And all these cuts are being done so Romney can give a tax cut of $265,000 to your average millionaire, and continue billions of dollars in subsidies for Big Oil.
We Democrats have nothing against people who've earned their wealth. We salute their hard work and good fortune. But slashing what we invest in schools, in roads, in research and development, in clean energy and in the things that protect our most vulnerable just to cut taxes for those at the top -- is ridiculous and wrong!
That's the Romney-Ryan budget. It isn't conservative. It's harsh, it's radical, and it's wrong. It would shred the safety net that protects the middle class and those striving to get there. It would undermine FDR's New Deal, unravel Harry Truman's Fair Deal and leave us with Mitt Romney's Raw Deal!
President Obama and we Democratic governors believe something very different. We believe that a budget is more than just a bunch of numbers: it's a document that reflects our values. We believe we can--and should--make government leaner, cheaper, and more effective - cutting waste and trimming fat where we can. That's why President Obama signed into law $2 trillion in spending cuts, bringing annual domestic spending to its lowest level, as a share of the economy, since President Eisenhower.
But we can--and should -- ask every American to shoulder their fair share, not just the squeezed middle class, but also those at the very top who have done so well these past few years. We can -- and should --invest in what will strengthen and grow the middle class, good schools, affordable health care, medical research, clean energy, modern roads and high-speed trains. That's what President Obama believes. That's what we Democratic governors believe--and that's what we've done.
There are other differences as well. Let's talk about jobs. President Obama has helped create 4 million American jobs. Mitt Romney says he'll create jobs, but in what country?
Let's talk about voting rights. In Connecticut we're expanding them, and making it easier for people to register and to vote. The Republicans? In 19 states they're engaged in a systemic effort to disenfranchise millions of African-Americans, Hispanics, and senior citizens, as they try to undermine the fairness of this election.
Let's talk about women's rights. The Republicans want to take away a woman's right to choose, even if she's a rape victim. That's in their platform. That's what they believe. That's why there are three simple reasons for anyone to support Barack Obama over Mitt Romney: "Your sister, your mother, and your daughter."
As Democrats, we have a deep and abiding belief that America is full of people from all walks of life, people who are good and decent, and who work hard. People who are respectful of others, and who do not discriminate based on gender, age, race, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation.
We need to fight for our children, fight for our senior citizens, fight for women's rights, fight for the middle class, and fight for our country's future. That's why we need to fight for Barack Obama.
Thank you, God bless you and God bless the United States of America.