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Exit interview: Gov. Dannel Malloy goes one-on-one with FOX 61’s Jenn Bernstein

After almost eight years in office, Governor Dannel Malloy is preparing to leave the state’s top seat. As he packs up the Governor’s Mansion on Prospect Avenue, he sat down for a candid one-on-one interview with Fox 61’s Jenn Bernstein.

Jenn: “As you reflect back on the last eight years, how would you describe your time in office?”

Malloy: “I think incredibly interesting, I think about the levels of dedication by the people who worked in my administration was really quite remarkable.”

Jenn: “Let’s talk about some of your accomplishments, what are you most proud of?”

Malloy: “Ending Veteran’s homelessness, adding 22 thousand units of affordable housing, and improvement in schools particularly in urban environments, and lowering of crime, and attracting new employers.”

Jenn: “Most difficult moment in office?”

Malloy: “What transpired at Sandy Hook School that day and for days and weeks after are probably the most trying time and by the way, far less trying for me than it was for someone who lost a loved one, even someone whose child was in the school.”

Jenn: “You’ve said one of your biggest regrets is not having a closer relationship with the business community, was there something that was an impediment to that. That made that difficult.”

Malloy: “Well I think most business leaders quite frankly are Republicans, and they’ll say that doesn’t make any difference, but I suspect it does, I think corporate leaders don’t trust state government, not just in Connecticut, you know I’ve talked to my fellow Governors around and some of those relationships are closer and some are further apart. But what I know we did was to develop policies that were supportive of job growth.”

Jenn: “Would you say that the criticism from the business community was justified in some ways with some of the tax policies put in place?”

Malloy: “Oh sure, no one wants to be taxed. I understand that. The problem with what was transpiring in Connecticut is that no one had made prior administrations properly fund the long-term obligations. Where were the voices then? When John Rowland entered into transactions giving greater and greater benefits and having a side agreement not to fund it, for twenty years, where was the business community then?  I think what we have now is a relationship in Connecticut where the business community understands they have to be vigilant, they have to be in Hartford, they have to push the legislature, and Governors, and I think in that sense it’s a better relationship than existed previously.”

Jenn: “What advice would you give the Governor-Elect with the business community moving forward?”

Malloy: “Well I don’t give the Governor-Elect advice unless he asks for it. Except one piece I did say, don’t commit to doing the same event every year you are Governor- you get trapped, your schedule! You become trapped by your schedule.  But beyond that, I’ve had some great discussions with the Governor-Elect. He’s a very decent human being, hardworking, assembling a team as we speak. I wish him well and we have answered every question.”

Jenn: “You are a self-proclaimed porcupine.”

Malloy: “No actually, I accepted the title when other people were calling me that. I embraced the title.”

Jenn: “So you’ve embraced the title of self-proclaimed porcupine. How are you different from how you are perceived?”

Malloy: “That’s a good question, that’s a question that everyone has asked that you’ve asked in a, perhaps, more interesting way. I can tell you that my friends and family don’t look at me the way other people look at me. I have a great family, extended family, I’m relatively popular at home.”

Jenn: “What are you going to miss most about being in office?”

Malloy: “I think the sense of a new challenge every day, coming your way, and I will miss the people I have worked with, quite frankly I will miss the people I worked for, not that I’m leaving the state, but it’s been a high honor, and a high privilege to work with the folks we assembled as a team, and to serve the people of Connecticut.”

Jenn: “What do you want your legacy to be?”

Malloy: “I know what I did, we’re documenting what we did, but what I think I will be known for was being one of the hardest working Governors that ever came to serve Connecticut. My critiques say I worked too hard on the wrong things, and my supporters would say, I wish you got more things done. But the principal of working hard, outworking people, is very important to me.”

Jenn: “What kind of position do you think you put Connecticut in moving forward?”

Malloy: “I’ll put it this way, I’d rather start a gubernatorial run this January, as opposed to eight January’s ago. The state is in a far better position than it was. I’ll leave office having seen the creation of over a thousand jobs….. And to know that Pratt and Whitney, and Electric Boat, and Sikorsky are going to be in the state for generations to come, making great American products, here in Connecticut is important.”

Jenn: “Do you feel like people put too much of an emphasis on everything surrounding the GE move?”

Malloy: “My heart goes out to people who invested in GE, that stock was once selling at $140 a share, now I know it divided itself, three for one, but as of yesterday it was at $7.19.”

Jenn: “Do you think they made bad business decisions, including leaving Connecticut?”

Malloy: “Yeah. I do think they made bad business decisions. I think the world thinks they made bad business decisions. I think the unintended loser in this thing is Massachusetts and Boston that made unbelievably large commitments for a very small number of jobs. Sometimes you run after the bus and sometimes you catch it.”

Jenn: “What hobbies are you going to pick up now? Because you’re going to have a lot of time!”

Malloy: “I hope I don’t have a lot of time, on a long-term basis. My father-in-law Matt Lambert worked until he was 86, that’s my goal.”

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