Charlie Baker Has to Talk About Donald Trump, Again

'I don't know how much farther I can get away from the guy.'

Republican Gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker participates in the 2014 Massachusetts Gubernatorial Forum on Mental Health in Boston, Wednesday, June 25, 2014, sponsored by The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. The intent of the forum was to create a dialogue around issues of mental health, focusing on veterans, teen suicide, the social impact of casino and marijuana legalization, and mental health care. Gretchen Ertl/AP Images for Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

Photo via AP

Another day, another wild twist in the Donald Trump campaign for Republican Charlie Baker to answer for.

This time, it was the unprecedented position Trump is taking about the legitimacy of the election, namely that he believes it’s “rigged,” and that he isn’t guaranteeing he will accept the results of it when they come, mercifully, in fewer than three weeks. “I will keep you in suspense,” he said at last night’s debate. He later said he would “totally accept the results,” adding, “if I win.”

Here’s Baker, via spokeswoman Lizzie Guyton in the Globe today.

[W]hile elections are hard-fought contests, the strength of our nation’s democratic system is based in part on the consent of all participants to honor the outcomes. 

The governor believes Mr. Trump’s failure to concede this foundational principle of our nation’s democratic system is irresponsible and another example of why he lacks the temperament to be president.

Baker today also responded to new pressure from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to further disavow the GOP nominee. Baker has said since the early days that he wouldn’t vote for the man, but Warren has argued he should be doing more. Baker isn’t sure how.

“I don’t know how much farther I can get away from the guy. I think I’m pretty far away to begin with,” he said on WGBH today, according to MassLive.

Previously, he’s has also weighed in on that tape of the candidate bragging in 2005 about how he can “grab” women “by the pussy” because he’s a celebrity. Baker’s argument, again: I was ahead of the curve.

One imagines this decision must have been easy for him. As early as the Republican National Convention in July, for which Baker took a pass, there was good reason for him to be reassured he’d made the right choice in bucking his party’s pick for the presidency.

Baker notably has said he won’t be voting for anyone this year. He can’t vote for Hillary Clinton (she has “believability problems,” he’s said), and he won’t be voting for Gary Johnson, who shares the ticket with former Massachusetts governor and Baker mentor Bill Weld (“I love the man, I really do.”he told the Herald in May, referring to Weld. “But I have all kinds of qualms with the Libertarian party’s positions.”).

Weld has also speculated on another reason Baker is probably making the right move by sitting out the election this year: Lots of other fish to fry.

Here’s what Weld said on a recent visit:

As soon as he sticks a finger in it, everyone’s going to come to him every morning and say ‘Well, you’re a gladiator in this contest now, what do you think about this sub-issue?’ And he wouldn’t have time to govern here. I think he’s doing just the right thing.

Asked on WGBH today about why Trump won so handily among Republicans during the state primary, Baker mused the businessman was the candidate voters thought was “least connected to Washington.” At least until Nov. 8, that appears to be Baker’s strategy, too.