Baker on Third Term Bid: “Definitely Not a No”
Radio Caller Prods Guv on Prez Race Significance
2/13/20 3:55 PM
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 13, 2020.....Gov. Charlie Baker isn't ruling out running for a third term, and when it comes to a more immediate election -- the March 3 presidential primary -- he's continuing to keep his plans to himself.
In a radio appearance on Thursday, Baker said he hasn't made the call yet on whether he'll seek re-election, and characterized his lack of decision as "definitely not a no."
"That is a subject for further discussion between me and my wife and some of the folks on the team," Baker said during his "Ask the Governor" interview on WGBH. "I haven't made a decision about that and frankly, I don't think I need to make a decision about that now."
The Swampscott Republican is in the second year of his second four-year term, which he won with two-thirds of the vote over Democrat Jay Gonzalez in 2018.
If Baker has made a decision for how he'll vote on Super Tuesday, it's not one he's sharing.
A caller named Nicole from Boston asked Baker which presidential candidate he will vote for, quoting a remark Baker made in 2016 when he endorsed New Jersey Republican Chris Christie.
"I don't ever want to be in a position where people say you didn't have a position on something of significance and importance," Baker said four years ago.
The caller said she considered the presidential election "very significant."
Baker reiterated comments he made Tuesday, saying he plans to vote but not to get involved in presidential politics.
"I've said many times that I don't want to get into presidential politics because that's not my job, and it's not what I get paid to do," Baker said. "I get paid to worry about what's going on here in the commonwealth of Mass., working on many of the things that we've been talking about today."
It appears Republican President Donald Trump has not won him over.
"I have said many times that I didn't vote for the president when he was up four years ago," the governor said. "I was worried about a lot of things with respect to his ability to do the job. I haven't seen anything since then to change my mind."
Asked by co-host Jim Braude if that meant he wouldn't vote for Trump this year, Baker said, "I think my statement kind of speaks for itself, Jim." He didn't answer when Braude asked if he'd vote instead for his one-time boss, former Gov. Bill Weld, who is running against Trump in the Republican primary.
"I said I'm not going to engage in presidential politics and I meant it," Baker said.
As Braude thanked the caller for her question, Baker continued: "And by the way, no one asks me about this when I'm out and about. No one."
"They want to talk about housing and transportation and health care and climate and all those things, and that's really what they expect me to focus on and worry about," he said.
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