Gov. Dannel P. Malloy CNN
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy CNN

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy won’t say until May that he is running for re-election, but he didn’t hedge Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” about presidential ambitions in 2016: He has none.

Malloy, who is in Washington for the mid-winter meeting of the National Governors Association, was the only one of four governors jointly interviewed who unequivocally ruled out a run.

The premise for the question by host Candy Crowley was that three of the four previous presidents had been governors. So, would any of the panel of two Democrats and two Republicans rule out running in 2016?

Rick Perry of Texas, who ran in 2012 for the GOP nomination, demurred with a smile. Republican Mike Pence of Indiana and Democrat Jay Nixon of Missouri couldn’t quite say no, either.

“I am not going to be a candidate for president,” Malloy said flatly.

“You see? How hard was that?” Crowley told the others.

Malloy ruled out further liberalizing pot laws in Connecticut, a state that has decriminalized possession of small amounts and legalized the use of marijuana for  limited medicinal purposes.

“I think that’s about as far as we go,” Malloy said.

Malloy was relatively restrained when asked by Crowley of the looser gun laws of the other three states represented on the panel are harmful to Connecticut.

“Universal background checks would make everyone safer in their states and in mine,” said Malloy, who favors stronger federal rules.

Perry said gun regulation should be left to the states.

Perry, who came to Connecticut recruit gun manufacturers to consider a move south last year after passage of the post-Newtown gun controls, said New England once was seen as the Silicon Valley of gun manufacturing, but no more.

“You’re seeing a shift of manufacturing out of states that don’t want them there,” Perry said. “We compete against each other. And that’s good.”

Malloy said nothing.

For the left of center crowd, Malloy was the only governor talking to them. He defended Connecticut’s repeal of the death penalty.

“I think we have a lower homicide rate than everybody at the table,” he said.

And he was the only one to defend the higher minimum wage sought by President Obama, saying without hesitation that Connecticut will adopt a phased-in $10.10 minimum wage during this legislative session.

He suggested that his Republican colleagues don’t take too much comfort in a recent Congressional Budget Office report that concluded a higher minimum wage would cost jobs, while lifting others from poverty.

Malloy noted that none of them were interested in quoting the CBO when it concluded that Obamacare eventually will save $1.25 trillion.

The governors will be dining Sunday night at the White House.

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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