Governor Baker “may take a pass” on voting for President

Colin A. Young
State House News Service

For the second election in a row, the state’s top elected Republican might not even cast a vote for president of the United States. Gov. Charlie Baker, who did not vote in the 2016 contest between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, said Wednesday that he “may take a pass on that one as well” when asked whom he supports in the Nov. 3 contest between President Trump and Democrat Joe Biden.

A Baker aide later claimed that the governor meant that he “may take a pass” on answering the reporter’s question about whom he supports for president. When asked Wednesday if he might not vote for president at all this year, Baker said, “We’ll see.”

The governor, who lives in Swampscott and has a polling place across the street from his house, said he had not decided whether he will vote in person on election day, in person during the early voting period, or by mail. Baker did not support Trump during the 2016 Republican primary, did not support him as the GOP’s presidential nominee, and said in 2016 that he did not cast a vote for president. Baker had endorsed then-Gov. Chris Christie just ahead of the 2016 New Hampshire primary and campaigned in the Granite State for his fellow governor, but has not waded into presidential politics with an endorsement since. “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,” he said at the time.

Earlier this year, reminded of his 2016 comment after declining to say how he voted in the Republican presidential primary other than saying he did not vote for Trump, Baker said nothing had changed. The governor seldom weighs in on the president but recently got a bit animated as he rebuffed Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the Nov. 3 election and defended mail-in voting. That triggered Trump to tweet about Baker, calling him a “RINO Governor” and saying about Baker’s defense of vote-by-mail, “Wrong Charlie!”

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