Governors reflect, deflect when asked about Trump presidency

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It is a subject of international intrigue and one that, try as they might, politicians in America just cannot seem to avoid.

Perhaps fittingly so, when four New England governors and five eastern Canadian premiers met the press Monday to take questions following a day-long summit largely devoted to renewable energy and international cooperation, the first question was about Donald Trump.

What, a Canadian journalist from Montreal’s La Presse newspaper asked, would the election of Trump as president do to the relationship between the United States and Canada?

Gov. Charlie Baker, whose picture was featured Monday on the New York Times website as a Republican who does not support his party’s nominee, was specifically asked to respond.

“What I can tell you is that the relationships between the people who are up here are positive, well-developed, ongoing and sit on the shoulders of the people who came before us. And the people who come after us will continue to build on them,” he said, flanked by elected officials from both sides of the border. “The value of these relationships are much bigger than any one person.”

Baker said he has “worked pretty hard” to stay out of the presidential race and plans to continue to do so. Baker has said Trump lacks the “temperament” to be president and has said he will not vote for Trump in November. Baker has also said Democrat Hillary Clinton has “believability” issues and he will not vote for her, either.

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan was the only other governor or premier to weigh in on what a Trump presidency would mean for North American relations, but like Baker she struck a tone of cooperation.

“I do think it is fair to say that Donald Trump does not reflect the people or the ethos of my state,” Hassan, a Democrat who is attempting to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, said. “Moving forward, what I think is important is that we continue to talk about how we can expand opportunity for all of our people and all of our people can be included in our success.”

— Written by Colin A. Young

Copyright State House News Service