Foley casts craggy Malloy in unflattering light in latest TV ad

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wasn’t ready for this closeup.

The Democratic incumbent is shown as craggy and haggard in a 30-second television ad released by Republican opponent Tom Foley, a stark contrast from the neatly-coiffed, size 32 blue jeans-wearing persona of the fitness-oriented politician.

Titled “Hurting,” the ad zooms in on Malloy’s face while a narrator rails against the first-term governor.

“Dan Malloy’s desperate,” the narrator tells viewers. “That’s why he’s falsely attacking Tom Foley. It’s sad Malloy can’t defend his policies that have failed so miserably, and Connecticut’s hurting. The largest tax increase in state history. Our economy struggles. Jobs are hard to come by. Companies are leaving. We need a governor focused on our future.”

Malloy’s senior campaign adviser Mark Bergman slammed Foley’s ad in a statement.

“Tom Foley will do whatever he can to run away from his record of destroying jobs, bankrupting companies and insulting Connecticut workers who are about to lose their jobs,” Bergman said. “So he’s trying to distort the progress Connecticut has made over the last four years to avoid talking about the damage he would inflict on our state in the next four. He’s hiding his backward agenda and Connecticut won’t stand for it come November 4th.

“Here’s the truth. Under Gov. Malloy, our private sector is growing jobs at its fastest rate since the late 1990s. The unemployment rate is at a five-year low. Graduation rates are up, our students are leading the nation, 147,000 people who didn’t have health insurance when Gov. Malloy took over now have it, crime rates are have dropped significantly, the budget is balanced, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been put in the Rainy Day Fund. As the Governor says all the time, we’re making progress. As he also says, he’s not satisfied, and there’s more work to do.”

The ad evokes memories of the first televised debate of the 1960 presidential campaign between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, who was recovering from knee surgery and appeared gaunt and sweaty next to the tanned and youthful Massachusetts senator. Kennedy went on to win the presidency.

Neil Vigdor