Gov. Baker 'Not Focused' On Nation's Race For The White House

BOSTON (State House News Service) — Gov. Charlie Baker is back from a weekend in Washington, D.C., and it's clear he didn't catch Potomac fever.

Massachusetts doesn't vote in the presidential contest for another month, but on the same day that the state's neighbors to the north are casting ballots in a New Hampshire primary that could be critical for home-state candidates like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Baker said he's not paying a whole lot of attention to the affair.

"I've made pretty clear many times I have a day job to do and I'm going to do it, and I'm not focused on the presidential election, or the federal elections generally," Baker told the News Service after his first public event since returning from the National Governors Association winter meeting.

"I'm interested in what happens here in Massachusetts but I'm not really going to get involved in the presidential stuff," he said.

Four years ago, Baker endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie four days before the New Hampshire primary and spent the weekend campaigning for his fellow governor. At the time, Baker said he was alarmed by the strong performances of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses, and didn't want to be accused of failing to lead at a critical moment.

"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.

Despite a primary challenge from Baker's former boss and mentor William Weld, President Trump is all but assured to be the GOP's nominee in 2020, and so the question again is what will Baker do.

"I expect and anticipate that I will vote, yes," Baker confirmed. And vote for whom? "We'll talk about that eventually, I'm sure."

by Matt Murphy, State House News Service

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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