There’s a disconnect between presumptive GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley and the Connecticut Democrats over Foley’s stance on gun control legislation.
Foley, addressing members of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League at their monthly meeting Tuesday night in Middletown, pledged to veto further restrictions on law-abiding gun owners if elected governor.
A self-described sportsmen who owns shotguns, Foley answered reporters’ questions afterward about whether he supports a repeal of a ban on high-capacity gun magazines that passed in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
“Well, listen, what I said to this group is that if there were proposals from the Legislature that reduce the burdens on law-abiding citizens that I would support it,” Foley said outside the event.
A tracker from the Connecticut Democrats taped Foley’s exchange with reporters, providing a sound bite to go along with the party’s claim that Foley supports the repeal of Connecticut’s sweeping gun control legislation.
“When asked last year if he’d have signed the bill he gave a tortured answer that no one understood. Then he said ‘guns is over,’ when it clearly wasn’t,”Nancy DiNardo, the state Democratic chairwoman, said in a statement Wednesday. “Now, when asked, he said if the Legislature sent him a repeal bill he’d sign it, and he said that if he becomes governor he will veto any attempt to strengthen the current law, including an attempt to limit the size of magazines. Tom Foley is desperately trying to buy yet another election, and in doing so is clearly pandering to the NRA at the expense of Connecticut residents.”
Chris Cooper, a spokesman for Foley’s exploratory committee for governor, disputed Democrats’ characterization of Foley’s comments to the gun owners group.
“That’s not what he said,” Cooper told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers Wednesday.
Cooper said that the comments attributed to Foley by the Connecticut Democrats differed from those that were accurately reported by media outlets who covered the event.
As for the tracker assigned by Democrats to shadow Foley on the trail, Cooper said, “If someone was at the event, they must not have been listening or did not hear correctly.”