Political odd couple? - Gov. Lamont joins former Republican House Speaker Boehner on book tour
Gov. Ned Lamont joined one of the nation's top Republicans Friday on his book tour. The appearance is drawing fire from some progressives, but experts say it could give Lamont a political boost.
Lamont and former Republican House Speaker John Boehner talked about political unity during a Zoom call.
"Sometimes there are events that bring people together, I'd like to think, and the center is holding," Lamont says.
"I thought the pandemic, when it came on, 'Well, this might be an opportunity.' But it turned out, by and large, it wasn't," says Boehner.
The two may seem like a political odd couple, but they actually have a lot in common. Boehner was cozy with Democrats - it cost him the speaker's chair. Lamont is taking heat from his own party for being too moderate on tax reform and social justice issues.
But political analyst Gary Rose says playing the middle is paying off politically for Lamont. A Sacred Heart poll from April gave Lamont a 56% approval rating - and 35% approval among Republicans as he gears up for a reelection bid next year.
But could appearances with prominent Republicans hurt Lamont with Democratic voters?
"Where do progressives go, if they don't go to Ned Lamont? I do not see any type of substantial progressive challenger," Rose says.
Lamont may be a moderate, but one of his possible challengers says he's no conservative.
"The reality is this: this is an unaffordable state. You can't afford to live here. You can't afford to retire here. Your kids can't afford to come back here after they graduate from school," says Themis Klarides, the former Connecticut House GOP leader who’s now considering a run for governor.
Lamont is expected to run again but he hasn't made it official yet.
Tune into this weekend's Connecticut Power & Politics to see News 12's John Craven sit down with Klarides.