Baker rebuffs queries on Romney v. Trump

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BOSTON – A day after saying he wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump, a testy Gov. Charlie Baker refused to offer his thoughts on former Gov. Mitt Romney’s critique of the bombastic billionaire and the consequences of making him the Republican presidential nominee.

Baker, who had just spoken at White Ribbon Day awareness campaign for domestic violence, said he hadn’t watched Romney’s Thursday morning speech at the University of Utah, where the 2012 Republican nominee said that if  Trump won the party’s nod this year, “the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished.”

Romney reiterated his call for Trump to disclose tax returns and branded him a “phony,” a “fraud” and a con artist in his 20-minute speech. He said the former reality television star projects “the very brand of anger that has led other nations into the abyss.”

Baker, visibly frustrated by facing another round of questions about national politics, gave a curt response to the queries: “I actually have a day job and I spend most of my time doing it.”

When one reporter tried to read quotes to Baker from Romney’s speech, Baker grew more agitated. Romney said Trump was “playing the American public for suckers.”

The governor persisted in deflecting the questions, however.

“I’m not interested in talking about this. You guys want to talk to me about my day job that’s fine, but I’m not going to talk about this,” he said, before snapping: “I’ve already made my opinion about Donald Trump quite clear.”

Baker did offer some thoughts on the tenor of the campaign and the state of politics in Washington, however.

“I think most of the commentary you’ve heard throughout the political campaign has been about how important it is that Washington get stuff done and get it’s act together and that’s a point of view and a perspective that’s shared by many American, including me,” Baker said.

“I’m as frustrated and as disappointed with Washington as anybody and I think the fact that we’ve managed to chart a different course here in terms of both our political dialogue, our behavior and our ability to work together, is a testament to the public leadership we that have here in the commonwealth,” the governor said. “It stands in many ways in stark contrast to what’s going on in D.C.”

But when more questions were asked about Trump and Romney, Baker replied, “See you guys,” and walked away

Written by Matt Murphy