Should the GOP censure Charlie Baker for support of Trump’s impeachment? Boston.com readers offer a decisive answer.

"Charlie Baker shows loyalty to our country and not to one party. That is what matters."

Governor Charlie Baker delivers his State of The Commonwealth Address from his ceremonial State House office on Tuesday evening. Erin Clark/Globe Staff

Related Links

With Washington D.C. rumbling in anticipation of a second Senate impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump, the political tension over the historic move has pitted some Massachusetts Republicans against the party’s top politician.

Earlier this week, The Boston Herald reported on calls for censuring Gov. Charlie Baker from within his own party.

Baker, a Swampscott Republican, had previously expressed support for impeaching Trump for an unprecedented second time.

House Democrats charged Trump, impeached earlier this month, for “incitement of insurrection” for provoking supporters before the outbreak of the riot that left five dead at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.


Baker’s position has not been welcomed by all in his party here in the Bay State.

“We need to unite our Republican Party and a major reason we’re divided is Charlie Baker,” Adam Lange, a Cape Cod Republican who supports Trump and is pushing for a censure of Baker, told the Herald.

“The message we’re sending is we are united as Republicans behind Donald Trump,” he added.

Former U.S. Senate candidate and avid Trump supporter Geoff Diehl told the newspaper the governor should “retract his stance.”

We asked readers whether Baker deserves to be censured by his party for breaking with the Mass GOP on impeachment. Is the state’s chief executive showing himself to be a “Republican In Name Only” — commonly known as a RINO — or should he be commended for speaking his mind?

In less than 24 hours, we received over 500 responses — and the vast majority of submissions were of the same thinking.

Just over 82 percent of respondents stood against a censure, arguing he should be able to express his opinion no matter what his fellow Republicans say.

“While I disagree with Baker on many things he seems to be one of the few sane Republicans left,” Marco E., of Quincy, wrote. “I applaud him for speaking his mind and speaking out against Trump.”


Ethan, of Millbury, wrote: “Charlie Baker shows loyalty to our country and not to one party. That is what matters. Country over party!”

Another 15 percent disagreed, backing the position that Baker should be censured because he has an obligation to show a united front with his party. (An additional 2 percent of those who took the survey submitted other positions.)

Written responses that expressed support for censuring the governor often called Baker a “RINO.”

“Baker is a joke. He’s not a Republican, never has been,” one anonymous commenter remarked. “I’m ashamed to ever have voted for him.”

Another put simply: “Charley (sic) Baker is the worst kind of Republican.”

Here’s a sampling of what else readers had to say when asked: “Is Baker showing himself to be a ‘Republican In Name Only?’ Should he in fact be lauded for speaking his mind?”

Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

In support of Baker

“Integrity first, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts second as governor. Party should only be a reflection of his personal views and slant toward government. Party should NEVER dictate one’s ethical responsibility towards the people whom an official represents.” — Karen, Amesbury

“I am a Republican. To unite our party — Donald Trump cannot be a part of it. TRUMP IS WHAT DIVIDES US! He is a cancer in our party and should be removed. Then we can be true Republicans.” — Stacy Goodman, West Roxbury


“Yes, he should be able to make up his own mind, for God’s sake. This is a democratic country.”

“Governor Baker is one of a few GOP voices trying to stand up for the Constitution and bring the Republican party back from the lunatic fringe. But by all means, Mr. Lange, split your party in half for a few election cycles to prop up the ego of a failed, corrupt ex-president.” — Brian, Westminster

“It’s shameful that the Republican party leaders in MA who usually defend constitutional rights such as free speech are attacking and censuring Republicans exercising their right to speak freely.”

“Charlie Baker is voting his conscience. Insurrection is serious and criminal, not a political party issue. A precedent must be set by finding Trump guilty for what he, as an American, is charged with, if evidence is overwhelming to prove Trump should not be allowed to hold public office again.” — Marie, Brewster

“Charlie Baker can believe whatever he wants. Also, the Massachusetts Republican Party is embarrassing themselves continuing to stand with Trump and the populist wing of the party. If anything, they should be grateful for Charlie Baker. He didn’t win 68% of the vote in 2018 for nothing. People support him here in Massachusetts. The MassGOP is out of touch with the state, and that’s why in 2020 they lost even the traditionally Republican towns bordering New Hampshire.” — Eric, Holden

In opposition to Baker

“Benedict Arnold comes to mind when (I) think of Gov. Baker.”


“Baker behaves more like a liberal than a conservative. He can speak his ‘mind,’ but, then he should join the party of which his ‘mind’ reflects!”


“Yes, we voted for a Republican not a RINO!”

“He is not a Republican.”

“Charlie Baker is R.epublican I.n N.ame O.nly.”

“Baker gives RINOs a bad name, he is more like D-lite.”

In the middle

“He should not be punished nor praised. Individual voters can make that decision in the privacy of a voting booth.” — Lisa, Danvers

Boston.com occasionally interacts with readers by conducting informal polls and surveys. These results should be read as an unscientific gauge of readers’ opinion.

Get Boston.com's browser alerts:

Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com