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Tension? Murphy Pledges Total Opposition to Trump, While Malloy Dines with Trump

February 22, 2017 By Staff
Tension? Murphy Pledges Total Opposition to Trump, While Malloy Dines with Trump

Top CT Democrats are taking different approaches to Trump this week; Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) received cheers for pledging total opposition, while Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) goes to D.C. to dine with the president and VP.

It’s a scene of contrasts this week for Connecticut Democrats dealing with the new administration. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) received a “standing ovation” for his total opposition to President Trump, while Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) prepares to dine with a man he once called a “bigot.”

This is just one example of the tough place Connecticut Democrats are caught in for 2017: work with Republicans in power on shared priorities, or satisfy an angry liberal base hungry for total opposition to President Trump?

Malloy may be taking the former approach this week as he heads to Washington, D.C. for lunch with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. More from the CT Post (emphases ours):

The outspoken critic of Donald Trump will have lunch Friday with Vice President Mike Pence, whom Malloy called a “bigot” when Pence was Indiana governor, and then dinner Sunday night with the president and first lady at the White House.

…“If the vice president invites you to lunch, you go to lunch,” Malloy told Hearst Connecticut Media Tuesday. “If there are discussion items, I’ll certainly share my opinion and do so respectfully. I’m a guest, right?

Murphy, meanwhile – mentioned as a possible 2020 presidential candidate – is taking the latter approach. More from the Hartford Courant (emphases ours):

Elissa Johnson, a science teacher from New Fairfield, said she has heard some Trump critics say they have to choose their battles. “I’ve seen several pretty low-hanging battles go down already,” she told Murphy.

…Murphy responded with a dose of realpolitik: “You have to win elections. We just need to be honest with ourselves. Your strategy is always going to be incomplete if you lose elections. This is not a political rally…we are going to do everything we can but the oil industry right now controls the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House, so as smart as my strategy is, it can’t obviate the fact that the Koch brothers and all of that massive money essentially bought themselves a Congress and a White House that will do what they want.”

Malloy and Murphy co-exist peacefully now, one a statewide official and one a federal official. Will their diverging positions eventually clash?