Baker: Weld A 'Mentor,' But Too Soon To Back His 2020 Bid

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit)

BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker isn't ready to throw his support behind the likely presidential bid of his predecessor and one-time boss.

Baker calls former Republican Gov. William Weld a "mentor" and praised his tenure as governor from 1991 to 1997. Baker served in Weld's cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Weld announced last week that he was forming an exploratory committee as a first step toward challenging President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primaries.

Baker, who's been highly critical of Trump, told reporters on Tuesday it was "too early" to focus on the presidential election, adding that he's concentrating on being governor.

Massachusetts GOP chairman Jim Lyons has issued a scathing rebuke to Weld, comparing him to Benedict Arnold and predicting Republicans will reject his candidacy.

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