Charlie Baker Blasts Donald Trump’s Call to Ban Muslim Immigrants

The governor was taken aback when shown Trump's comments.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump in Worcester by Garrett Quinn

Gov. Charlie Baker has tried his best to stay out of the 2016 race for president, but on Monday the YouTube comment section come to life that is the Donald Trump campaign caught up with him.

In a two paragraph statement released on Monday, Trump called for all Muslims currently residing outside the country to be blocked from entering the United States, including U.S. citizens who happen to be Muslim.

The proposal was just the latest unenforceable outburst from the GOP frontrunner that sent Republicans scrambling to distance themselves from the would-be party standard bearer.

Baker, the living, breathing definition of a Yankee Republican moderate, has distanced himself from Trump in the past, but never before has he used such forceful language when talking about him.

While speaking with reporters after a lighting of the State House menorah for Hanukkah, Baker was at first more reserved in his comments about Trump.

“As I’ve said before, I don’t like getting into presidential politics. That’s not what I got elected to worry about. But I think that’s ridiculous and I would never support a policy like that,” said Baker, according to the State House News Service.

After a reporter presented Baker with the two-paragraph statement from Trump calling for the ban on Muslims, the governor appeared irritated and let it rip:

“I can’t believe that I’m reading this, which is basically directly in contrast and in conflict with most of the most important values that people in this country hold most dear, among them the right and the ability to practice your religion peacefully. Yeah, I think this is a really bad idea,” said Baker.

This is not the first time Baker has weighed in on the issue of Muslim immigrants in the United States. In November, Baker said he was against allowing Syrian refugees into Massachusetts before he fully understood the federal government’s vetting process. It’s a statement he has since somewhat walked back, even though polls show a majority of Massachusetts residents agree with his initial stance.

In an appearance in Worcester, Trump said he agreed with Baker’s initial position.

Baker has not endorsed anyone in the 2016 race, though he did receive help from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during his 2010 and 2014 campaigns for governor. Trump has led the only presidential primary polls of Massachusetts voters.