Gov. Dannel P. Malloy breezed through an in-studio appearance today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” opening with a pleasant chat about UConn basketball before venturing out onto the harsher terrain of state finances. It can be viewed online.

Malloy shrugged off a comparison to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose recent budget deal has no tax increases. He noted that Cuomo’s predecessors “actually got some work done” on taming their budget.

“Connecticut does need to raise taxes,” he said. “It’s the biggest per-capita deficit in all of the country.”

In his previous appearance, by satellite, he tangled with Joe Scarborough, who was off today. He appeared with Mika Brzezinski, Tom Brokaw, Pat Buchanan and Willie Geist.

Brzezinski asked him about his job approval rating.

“Do you care?” she asked.

“Sure you care. I have feelings,” Malloy replied, mugging a bit.

“Awww,” cooed Brzezisnki.

Buchanan pressed him on how the feds can solve their deficit.

The only question that seemed to give Malloy pause came from Brzezinski, a former reporter at WFSB in Hartford: “Who is your favorite reporter?”

“You seem like such a nice a person,” Malloy said, stalling. “I love them all.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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