Cathy Malloy apologizes for media critique

Charlotte, N.C. — Connecticut’s first lady, Cathy Malloy, apologized today for her off-the-cuff remarks Wednesday at a public forum here about difficulties of living under the constant scrutiny of the media.

“I didn’t do a good job of expressing what I really feel,” she said in a statement emailed by the governor’s office. “Although I don’t always agree with what’s written by members of the media, I do believe they’ve been fair to me and my family.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who addressed the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, defended his wife.

“She was talking to a women’s group about how difficult public life is. That should not surprise anybody. It is very difficult,” Malloy said. “I don’t think it was intend to be a critique of anything other than how difficult public life is.”

But minutes later, his office issued the apology from the first lady, whose husband was mayor of Stamford for 14 years before his election as governor in 2010.

Cathy Malloy attended a forum Wednesday by EMILY’s List, the group that encourages Democratic women who support abortion rights to seek public offices.

In remarks recorded by the Albany Times Union and reported by Hearst Connecticut, Malloy warned about the media during a town-hall style question-and-answer session:

“When people need to make the choice if they want to get into public office or not, they say, ‘Wow, do we really want to subject our children to this? Or our wives to this? Or our husbands?’ It’s a big decision because the media just won’t let up.”

She was accompanied for much of Wednesday by two of her three children, including a son whose struggles with depression and drug abuse became public after his arrest on a drug charge before the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

“Americans eat their politicians up every day,” she said, according to an account by the Los Angeles Times. “And this is a huge problem. Not only do we get beat up, our children get beat up. And it’s tough business, a really tough business, for people that want to get in public life.”

Malloy mentioned making news after getting a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt.

“National news, it’s just so bizarre,” she said.

The quick apology was an effort by the governor’s office keep the remarks from turning into a media feud.

Roy Occhiogrosso, the governor’s senior adviser, said press coverage of Malloy has been fair. He downplayed any suggestions that her remarks may have taken away from the governor’s moment in the spotlight.

“It’s not disappointing at all. We don’t control the timing,” he said. “Every person in this inner circle of Dan Malloy appreciates and loves Cathy Malloy for who she is. She is a passionate, loyal defender of her family, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”