HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut first lady Cathy Malloy apologized Thursday for saying the media scrutinizes elected officials so thoroughly that it dissuades people from seeking public office.
At a panel at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's wife said the public does not appreciate those in public life. The panel was organized by Emily's List, a group that tries to help elect Democratic women who support access to abortion.
"Whether you are Republican or Democrat, people do not appreciate people in public life like they should," Malloy said. "Americans eat their politicians up every day. 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 said intense media attention forces some to abandon thoughts of seeking public office.
"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 said.
Through the governor's office, the first lady emailed a statement on Thursday apologizing for her comments. She said the media have been fair to her and her family.
"I was trying to convey a certain sentiment and I didn't do a good job of expressing what I really feel," she said. "Although I don't always agree with what's written by members of the media, I do believe that they've been fair to my family and me."
Malloy received negative publicity in May when she was ticketed for failing to wear her seat belt.
"I forgot to put my seat belt on, and I was pulled over by the police," she said.
Malloy said she wasn't asking for sympathy. "We choose to be in public life, we choose to run for office so nobody should feel sorry for us, this is what we want to do. ... It's just so bizarre."
In her email, Malloy said she was trying to make the point that sacrifices are expected of those who are in public life.
"Sometimes that's frustrating," she said. "We don't expect anyone to feel sorry for us, because we're honored to be able to serve."
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