Baker flatly rejects voting for Trump in primary

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BOSTON – Gov. Charlie Baker plans to cast his vote first thing Tuesday morning, but it won’t be for Donald Trump, the Republican governor said Monday.

“I’ve made clear that I’m not voting for Donald Trump,” Baker told reporters Monday. “He’s not my guy and he’s not my candidate.”

As Massachusetts voters head to the polls for the presidential primaries Tuesday, Trump sits comfortably atop local Republican primary polls with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio the next closest candidate, lagging about 20 percentage points behind. Baker endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just before the New Hampshire primary, but the former federal prosecutor finished so poorly that he dropped out and on Friday threw his support to Trump.

Baker declined to say for whom he plans to vote on Tuesday, but said Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich “are both fine men and I’m looking forward to seeing them continue their campaigns.”

Asked whether he would refrain from voting for Trump even if he becomes the Republican Party’s nominee, Baker insisted he’s not ready to concede that Trump will get the GOP nod.

“I’m not willing to concede he’s going to be the – why is everybody giving up on the idea that anybody else might actually pull off this election?” Baker said. “I’m not willing to give that one up. Let the other candidates fight this out and let’s see where it goes.”

Baker has been critical of Trump in the past, saying the New York billionaire doesn’t have the “temperament or the seriousness of purpose” to be president. On Monday, the governor said it was “appalling” that Trump “seemed unwilling” this weekend to categorically disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

“David Duke is nobody’s idea, in my opinion, of what real America is all about,” Baker said. “I think anybody who’s involved in public life and gets the fact that you’re supposed to represent 100 percent of the people when you engage in public life should be smart enough to understand that the Klu Klux Klan has no business being a part of that.”

Written by Colin A. Young