Can’t say something nice about the Guv’s budget? Praise his gun control efforts.

Gov. Dannel Malloy was in Bridgeport today, first to meet with Mayor Bill Finch, the police chief and city’s legislative delegation on post-Sandy Hook gun control efforts, then to address the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s luncheon.

Awkward is far too strong of a word. But it was … interesting … to see Malloy and Finch at the same events since the latter has recently been working overtime to torpedo Malloy’s efforts to eliminate the car tax.

But hey, that’s politics.

Municipal leaders argue if they lose that car tax revenue they will have to raise property taxes.

During his speech to the Business Council, Malloy, with Finch seated at the table before him, made a couple of references to the need for middle class tax relief and opposition to his car tax cuts.

The governor said as the former mayor of Stamford he understood the criticism from “my good friend” Finch and other municipal leaders that the state does not provide cities and towns enough money.

“I was a mayor for 14 years and I don’t resent that,” Malloy said.

He never mounted a strong defense of his car tax proposal and it was not the subject of the few questions audience members posed to Malloy after his address. It was too bad. It would have been nice to see the governor make his pitch to the room and Finch’s body language.

Finch, who greeted the Business Council before Malloy spoke, did not mention the governor’s fiscal policies. Instead he heaped praise on Malloy’s gun control proposals.

“We’re darn lucky to have Governor Dannel Malloy backing this charge,” Finch said. “

Brian Lockhart