McMahon, 61, who with her husband Vince McMahon built the global television empire of the World Wrestling Entertainment, is known for wearing Chanel suits and living in an $8 million home in Greenwich, Conn. But she told Sunday's (Hartford) Courant that she and husband were broke in the 1970s and so can relate to state residents who are facing financial disaster.
"I think pain and embarrassment are two absolutely appropriate terms," McMahon told the newspaper of her 1976 bankruptcy filing, in which the family lost its home and cars. "It was very difficult just to not know how long it was going to take you to get back, to have people look at you as though you weren't a loser."
McMahon told the Courant she decided to run as a "small government" Republican because she has something to offer and is convinced that Democratic incumbent Christopher Dodd is leading the nation in the wrong direction.
"We have got runaway spending, mounting debt," McMahon said. "We've got pressure on the credit markets so that small businesses can't get loans."