Ganim now distances self from Trump
By Brian Lockhart, CTPost
BRIDGEPORT — He called Donald Trump a “good man” after his shocking election to the White House last fall, and had held out hope the developer-turned-reality television host-turned U.S. President would do good things for struggling cities.
On Wednesday, however, Democratic Mayor Joe Ganim said his view of the Republican commander-in-chief has “changed dramatically.” The change-up followed Trump’s blaming “both sides” for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left one counter-protestor dead and 19 injured.
“We’re in different places,” said Ganim, who is exploring a run for governor in 2018, when contacted by Hearst Connecticut Media. “I side with those for inclusion, diversity and human rights.”
Back in November, Ganim declined to join the chorus of political peers and pundits fearful of a Trump presidency, particularly those who noted that, as a candidate, the Republican pandered to racists. In fact, the mayor went out of his way to try and cozy up to the president-elect — a practical approach in a cash-strapped city that relies heavily on federal aid.
Ganim attended Trump’s inauguration. And he was happy to talk about the fact the two men crossed paths in the 1990s, during Ganim’s first stint as mayor, when Trump showed interest in efforts to site a casino in Bridgeport and purchased land in town.
“I probably have more insight than … a lot of people do — anecdotes about his personality,” Ganim told Hearst a few days after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House. “Give him a chance to take a deep breath and, I hope, come out with reassurances that the extreme part of his campaign was left behind. My sense is, you’ve got a good man there.”