Gov. Baker Apologizes For Calling Pressley's MLK Remarks A 'Rant'

Gov. Charlie Baker

Gov. Charlie Baker. (Getty Images)

by Jon Palmer

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker is apologizing for describing Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley's speech at an event honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. as a "rant."

Baker and Pressley spoke, along with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Sen. Ed Markey, at the 50th Anniversary MLK Memorial Breakfast Monday morning. After passionate remarks from Rep. Pressley, Gov. Baker spoke next.

"The only thing I can add to that rant, okay, is this," he said, before going on to talk about being able to "walk in the shoes of so many different people across the Commonwealth whose life experiences have been different than ours," and saying he agreed with Pressley's comments celebrating diversity.

In a recording from the event, Pressley can be heard laughing after the "rant" comment, along with some in the crowd, though others groaned at it.

The AP reported that Baker spokesperson Lizzie Guyton told them Baker apologized for his word choice after the event. The Boston Globe reported Pressley aides confirmed he had reached out to apologize, but that they did not want to comment further.

“The governor agreed with Congresswoman Pressley’s remarks today and believes her speech was moving,” Guyton told the AP.

Baker's use of the word "rant" drew condemnation on social media, including from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

"Language like that is dismissive and perpetuates the very harm we seek to end," Healey said.

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