Politics

Charlie Baker says he ‘blanked’ his 2020 presidential vote

Despite his criticisms of President Donald Trump, the Republican governor was also not moved to vote for Joe Biden.

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a press conference Monday at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Sam Doran / Pool

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has repeatedly said he wouldn’t vote to re-elect Republican President Donald Trump in this year’s election.

However, despite his often vocal criticisms of Trump, the moderate GOP governor also isn’t backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Baker indicated for the first time that he did not vote for any candidate in the 2020 presidential race.

“I blanked it,” he said, when asked whether he voted for Biden.

Baker similarly voted for no one in the 2016 presidential race, explaining at the time that he couldn’t vote for Trump for “a number of reasons,” but thought then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “had believability issues.”

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During his 2018 re-election race, Baker described Trump as ÔÇťoutrageous,” “disgraceful,” and “a divider,” and has been a consistent critic of Trump’s rhetoric, immigration policies, and attempts to undo former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baker has also vented over the Trump administration’s mismanagement of the government response and even called out the president’s personal response to his own COVID-19 diagnosis. Perhaps most forcefully, Baker has criticized Trump for lacking “compassion and leadership” following the racal justice protests last spring and more recently called Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power “appalling and outrageous.”

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Last month, Politico reported that Baker was among several Republicans that the Biden campaign had discussed for a potential cabinet position if they were to win the election this week. In response to the report, Baker said he was “flattered to be considered,” but intends to serve out “at least” the remaining two years of his current term.

Baker, who said last week that he mailed in his ballot, did not elaborate Tuesday on why he wasn’t moved to vote for Biden.

However, he didn’t leave his entire 2020 ballot blank; last week, Baker said he would vote for Senate candidate Kevin O’Connor, the Republican challenging incumbent Sen. Ed Markey. He also said he would vote against Question 2, the Massachusetts ranked choice voting ballot measure.

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While a number of former Republican governors, including Baker’s “mentor” Bill Weld, have publicly backed Biden, many of Trump’s currently elected intra-party critics, even in solidly Democratic states, have been more coy about their presidential votes.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott became the first Republican governor in the country Tuesday afternoon to say he voted for Biden, as Seven Days reported. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow Republican critic of Trump, said last month that he cast a write-in vote for former President Ronald Reagan, who is dead.

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