GOP governor candidates praise Trump’s policies; avoid criticizing his character
None of the five Republican candidates for governor of the state of Connecticut said they would prefer to have a different person serving as President of the United States, even if a person with different moral character has President Trump’s policies.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said he can defend Trump’s policies, and the disruptive nature of the President may contribute to his success.
Greenwich investment banker David Stemerman said Trump’s policies are doing a great job on the economy, and people respect him for taking the risk of speaking what is on his mind.
Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst said flatly he would not prefer a different person, because Trump was elected fair and square, and he is a reflection of the people’s wishes.
Navy veteran and tech entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik of Westport said he is able to accept some undesirable methods along with the President’s policies that he agrees with, though he himself would do things differently.
Former GE and UBS executive Bob Stefanowski would not comment on the character question, but did not hesitant to say the country needs more of Trump’s policies.
The Bulletin's sister paper, the New Canaan Advertiser, asked each of the Republican candidates the question — Would you prefer a person of different moral character in the White House if all policies were equal? — when they were in New Canaan on Aug. 10, at a Meet & Greet hosted by Berkshire Hathaway New England Properties.
Said Boughton, “I can’t agree with every every tweet the President puts out, but I can defend his policies. There is more money in my paycheck.”
“Is his process the same as mine? No, but I understand what he is trying to do.”
“I don’t know that another person could have gotten the tax cut,” Boughton said. “I would not go down that trail and say ‘yes’” to preferring a different person.
“People say Trump has been destructive; I would say he’s been disruptive, and there’s a profound difference between the two. I think we need a disruptive governor,” he said.
“I am a disruptor, but a nice one.”
Obsitnik responded by saying, “I am a military veteran; I always support our commander in chief. A lot of polices I basically agree with. How he goes about it, sometimes, I don’t always agree with.” Then he added, “I don't alway agree with how my wife goes about everything…”
“My moral character and what I would do would probably be different” from the President’s, Obsitnik said.
To the question of preferring a different President with the same policies Herbst was direct. “No,” he said, “and for this reason. The country elected Donald Trump President of the United States whether we like it or not.”
As people review the President “there needs to be a self-reflection,” said Herbst. “He won fair and square. He won, legitimately,” Herbst said. “He won states that Republicans have not won since 1984.”
“Donald Trump did not create Connecticut’s problems,” he added. “This governor and 40 years of one-party rule in the legislature created Connecticut’s problems.”
Former hedge fund director Stemerman told the Advertiser that President Trump’s blunt-talking character is an asset.
“I believe that the President’s policies are doing a great job improving the economy. I also believe that his willingness to call it like he sees it is very important and very valuable. What we have for the first time in a long time is someone who is independent; someone who is an outsider, who doesn’t owe anything to anybody, and who is finally willing to call balls and strikes. He respects hard work and the people who do it, and believes we should be fighter for people who do it, and I agree with those things.”
“It doesn’t mean that I am going to agree with every word that comes out of his mouth,” said Stemerman. “After the press conference with President Putin I said that I believe the word and the work of our intelligence services.”
“People respect [President Trump] for calling it like he sees it,” Stemerman said. “They’ve had years and years of career politicians who seem to only care about getting themselves elected, people who aren’t willing to take that risk, who aren’t willing to call it like they see it.”
When Stefanowski had a chance to address Trump’s character and policies, his response was about policy only.
“We need more of his economic policy, and I leave it at that.”