Baker rules out voting for Trump for president in November

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BOSTON – After New York businessman Donald Trump rolled to a resounding victory in the Massachusetts Republican presidential primary Tuesday night, Gov. Charlie Baker said he’s not willing to concede the inevitability of Trump’s rise to the GOP nomination, and won’t vote for Trump in November if it comes to pass.

“I said I wasn’t going to vote for Donald Trump yesterday and I didn’t, and I don’t plan to vote for him in November, but I’m not willing to concede with 35 states to go that he going to be the Republican nominee,” Baker told reporters after attending an elementary school assembly in North Andover to celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading.

Baker would not say who he sees as having the most viable path to block Trump’s surge to the nomination, but expressed frustration that after the Super Tuesday results so many pundits in the media and political consulting class appeared ready to declare both races over.

“If I were a Sanders supporter or if I were Bernie Sanders or any of the Republican candidates it would annoy me that people are deciding that this is over before half the ballots have actually been cast,” Baker said.

Asked if he might support the Democratic nominee should Trump take the nomination, Baker said, “I’m not much of a fan of Hillary Clinton, let’s put it that way.” He said nothing of Sanders, and urged reporters to let the process play out when asked about a possible third-party candidate.

Trump captured nearly 50 percent of the vote on the Republican side Tuesday night in a Massachusetts Republican primary where turnout eclipsed that of the 2008 contest between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain. Baker said he had no insight into why the Republican and independent voters that helped sweep him into office in 2014 might be flocking to Trump, who he has described as lacking the temperament and substance to be president.

“I think the voters who supported me supported me because they wanted somebody who was going to focus on the work, and that’s what I plan to do, continue to focus on the work, and I think the rest of it to some extent is certainly nationally important but I think what voters care about here is how I’m doing in the job they voted for me to do, which is to serve as governor of Massachusetts,” Baker said.

Written by Matt Murphy