Politics

Charlie Baker Still Refuses to Take a Stance on Impeachment

The governor continued to avoid wading into the impeachment conversation during a WGBH interview.


AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Surprising literally no one, Governor Charlie Baker stayed mum on whether or not he supported the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach Donald Trump Thursday. Instead, he criticized the partisanship that tinged the impeachment proceedings, and called for a more bipartisan approach to the Senate trial.

In a Boston Public Radio interview yesterday, Baker dodged the question of whether or not he believes the Senate should convict Trump multiple times during his monthly “Ask the Governor” segment.

“I think the Senate should try to create a fair trial,” he said. When host Jim Braude pressed him on the issue, Baker continued to demur. “They [the House] made the decision that they made,” he said. “That’s their call, not mine.”

Rather than endorsing or condemning the choice to impeach, Baker chose instead to advocate for more across-the-aisle collaboration as the proceedings move to the Senate, saying he wished the process thus far “had been a little bit more bipartisan.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that some of the Senate folks have already said what they’re going to do before the thing even starts and that’s on both sides,” he said. “I think if you’re going to be a juror in one of these things, the most important thing to do is say nothing.”

Baker also noted his distaste for the “language” that has been used throughout the impeachment process, saying that it “makes it sound less like the solemn occasion” that it is.

As a fiscal conservative who has also supported abortion and climate change legislation and minimum wage reform, Baker’s focus on bipartisanship in Washington shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, the governor has openly criticized Trump in recent months, despite his routine reluctance to speak out on national politics. While he stopped short of explicitly calling for the president’s impeachment this summer, he claims to have left his 2016 ballot blank to avoid supporting him, and described some of Trump’s Twitter attacks on women of color in Congress as “racist.”

“I didn’t support the president in the Republican primary. I didn’t support him in the general election, and I said that I didn’t think he had the temperament for the job. And there’s nothing that’s happened in the course of the last few years that’s changed my mind,” Baker said Thursday.

He noted, however, that he still stand by what he calls his “brand of Republicanism.”

“I have no trouble being a Republican defined the way I want to define it,” Baker said.