Not one Republican candidate in eastern Connecticut would comment on Trump
OK, on one level I'm not surprised that not a single Republican candidate in eastern Connecticut accepted my challenge to comment on the person at the head of the ticket they are running on: President Donald J. Trump.
We all know why.
Trump remains deeply unpopular in blue Connecticut, and any Republican candidate who praises him risks losing the unaffiliated and moderate Democrats they need to get elected.
Still, that makes this an extraordinary election, one in which Connecticut Republicans refuse to acknowledge the big elephant in the room, unwilling to discuss the person who has had such power over their own party and policies on universal topics like taxes, climate change and health care that have enormous impacts on life in Connecticut.
Surely I can't be the only one who wouldn't consider voting for anyone who won't even comment about the head of their party and his agenda for the country.
The silence by Connecticut Republicans would seem to be especially insulting to Republican voters who support Trump.
I guess the calculation is that Connecticut Republicans don't need to cater to voters here from the Trump base. Where else are they going to go?
My emailed invitation to all candidates of all parties on the ballot in eastern Connecticut to print two sentences from them on the Trump candidacy did elicit a fulsome response from Democrats.
So, in no particular order, here are the races for which I got answers or no response.
Martha Marx, Democrat for 20th Senate District: "Trump is a problem we can and will fix on Election Day by bringing people together around the values of hope, courage and science. The Republicans who in this moment of crisis were silent and allowed this madness to happen will and should be thrown out with him."
Sen. Paul Formica, Republican for the 20th Senate District: No answer.
Cate Steel, Democrat for 37th House District: "POTUS #45 violates our constitution, democracy and values. He's inhumane, Tyrannical, Repugnant, Unethical, Misogynistic, Propagandist."
Holly Cheeseman, Republican in the 37th House District: No answer.
Matt Geren, Democrat for the 42nd House District: "Even though I disagree with his policies, I had hoped that he would respect the dignity of the office and work for all Americans. Unfortunately he has used his position to divide us and to financially benefit his friends and family."
Mike France, Republican for 42nd House District: No answer
Sen. Cathy Osten, Democrat for the 19th Senate District: "I plan on supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. They will bring moderation and reason and normalcy and respect to America, and to the everyday lives of hundreds of millions of Americans who are asking for decency and intelligence and empathy in our nation's leaders. They will respect our military men and women, and honor them for their Constitutional mission."
Steve Weir, Republican for the 19th Senate District: No answer.
Rep. Anthony Nolan, Democrat for the 39th House District: "President Trump and his local Republican allies have put our society in grave danger by failing to condemn white supremacy and instigating violence. If you value the awesome diversity we have here in New London, vote no on racism, no on hatred and no on Trump."
Kat Goulart, Republican for the 39th House District: No answer.
Erycka Ortiz, Green Party for 39th House District: No answer.
Rep. Joe de la Cruz, Democrat for the 41st House District: "It would be impossible to capture my total disappointment in our President with a two-sentence limit."
Sen. Norm Needleman, Democrat for the 33rd Senate District: "Among a litany of other failures, President Trump has mismanaged the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that's caused needless death and suffering. We need Joe Biden as our next President to return decency, competency and common sense to the White House."
Brendan Saunders, Republican for the 33rd Senate District: No answer.
Bob Statchen, Democrat for the 18th Senate District: "Donald Trump and his Republican enablers failed our country, costing over 210,000 American lives and 11 million jobs. Joe Biden will provide the leadership and integrity needed to get our country back on track."
Sen. Heather Somers, Republican for the 18th Senate District: No answer.
Rep. Kate Rotella, Democrat for the 43rd House District: "Donald Trump has divided our country and in ignoring science in this pandemic he has made us less safe. We cannot get through all the challenges in front of us as a nation without a true leader. Our president is supposed to lead us and set an example and he has failed to do this."
Greg Howard, Republican for the 43rd House District: No answer.
Baird Welch-Collins, Democrat for the 38th House District: "President Trump serves as a reminder that sowing fear and division remains a powerful political tool for those who are dangerous enough to use it. He is not a cause, but a symptom, of a political system that has failed to work for many of our nation's most vulnerable and frustrated citizens."
Kathleen McCarty, Republican for the 38th House District: No answer.
Rep. Christine Conley, Democrat for the 40th House District: "Donald Trump has deeply divided our country and not taken COVID seriously, resulting in unnecessary deaths."
Lauren Gauthier, Republican for the 40th House District: No answer.
Kate Donnelly, Democrat for the 47th House District: "Donald Trump has been the worst president in our nation's history; his bad policies have put the American people and our planet in jeopardy. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the right people to lead our country forward."
Doug Dubitsky, Republican for the 47th House District: No answer.
This is the opinion of David Collins.