NO BOOK DIEHL: Whitman Republican Rails Against Warren’s Book Tour

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BOSTON — State Representative Geoff Diehl let out a chuckle Monday morning when asked by a New Boston Post reporter how long it took him to read U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s newest hardcover memoir, titled This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle To Save America’s Middle Class.

“To be honest with you, I haven’t found a reason to read her book yet,” the Republican from Whitman answered. “I do a lot of work up on Beacon Hill, a lot of bills to file, a lot of bills to read, I’ll certainly look at the synopsis but it doesn’t seem to me like right now the work that she’s doing on writing these books is as important as the work we need to be getting done on Beacon Hill.”

In Diehl’s latest press conference he repeated earlier statements that while he is not officially tossing his hat into the ring for a 2018 run to unseat Warren, a healthy spring and summer of fund raising will likely lead him to do so. Diehl said he figures a campaign cash chest “with a strong six-figure number” achieved by mid-summer will push him over the edge.

For now, his attention appears to be focused on Warren, and how the Cambridge liberal’s “main agenda appears to be flying around the country and promoting herself.”

Diehl’s Monday morning press conference followed Warren’s launch of her 11th and latest tome, released last week. Warren is currently touring the country to promote her book, a fact not lost on Diehl.

“I think people just need to know that we need a United States senator that’s going to be working for them, not working to write books in order to raise a profile, to raise a bank account for themselves, and to basically make sure that people know that she’s running for president in 2020 instead of continuing to work for the people of Massachusetts,” Diehl said.

Warren has repeatedly dodged questions of whether she’ll wage a 2020 White House bid to unseat her nemesis on social media, President Donald Trump. Her book tour commenced last week with a kickoff held not in her home state of Massachusetts, but in Trump’s hometown of New York City. Diehl pointed out that Warren, who he noted “charges people to get into her book signings,” received a $625,000 advance from her publisher, Metropolitan Books.

Fund raising, Diehl said, will be crucial, given the fact that Warren’s campaign war chest has topped $9.2 million.

“This is an important step in making sure that we can raise the money we need to work against a senator who has been basically working in office to raise money for herself, and for Democratic candidates around the country,” Diehl said, noting that his mid-summer fundraising goal is “between $300,000 and $500,000.”

“I know that my opponent, Senator Warren, is a prolific fund raiser and again that seems to be her main agenda — raising money for herself whether it’s for her campaign or personally $1.6 million for book deals, since she’s been in office, two books and not working for the people of Massachusetts during that time, that’s the kind of thing that I will not be doing,” he added. “There will be no book deals for Geoff Diehl while I’m in office after 2018.”

Diehl also said he’d welcome the appearance of Trump campaigning on the stump with him, should he ultimately challenge Warren. Diehl, the only Beacon Hill Republican to endorse Trump, said a potential Trump bump “would be an honor.”

“There are currently no Republicans on the Congressional delegation,” he said. “We have a Republican president and a Republican governor and I think it’d be great to have at least one representative working down in D.C. in Congress to help the people of Massachusetts.”

Reminded of that fact — the nonexistence of the GOP in the state’s delegation and the seemingly insurmountable odds of dethroning Warren in a blue state — Diehl pointed to Trump’s primary win as proof of the possibility he can succeed.  

The voters who showed up to pull the lever for Trump, Diehl said, “wanted to see a change.”

“I think the same voters that didn’t believe in Hillary Clinton’s message — there were 20,000 Democrats who became unenrolled in order to vote for Donald Trump in the primary — I think that those folks are going to be similarly dissatisfied with Elizabeth Warren, who endorsed Hillary Clinton despite her ideological partner Bernie Sanders, kind of leaving him out in the wind, he almost got 50 percent of the vote,” Diehl said.

He also tried to paint Warren as lawmaker who is “just working as a pure opposition to anything and everything that the president and Republicans are trying to offer.”

“The real key is the independents that want to see actual work being done in Washington D.C.,” Diehl said.

Warren on Monday night attended a book promotion tour stop in Washington. The appearance did not involve an official signing, however, according to the bookstore holding the event, sixth&i. Pre-signed copies of Warren’s book were available according to the bookstore, which listed Warren’s appearance as “SOLD OUT” as of Monday afternoon.  

As of Monday, the only candidate to announce an official run against Warren is 53-year-old Shiva Ayyadurai, a computer scientist and engineer from Cambridge who made headlines last year when he sued and later settled with the former blog, which went bust after being forced to pay former wrestler Hulk Hogan $31 million following a defamation suit.

Ayyadurai, a Republican, sued Gawker after the blog published several pieces disputing Ayyadurai’s claim to have invented email in 1979.

Ayyadurai, who was born in India, has sought to play up his Indian ethnicity in response to Warren’s claim of being another kind of Indian, a descendant of Native Americans, with little evidence of it. Her claim drew criticism when reports surfaced during her first Senate campaign in 2012 that she listed herself as a minority and checked a box intended for Native Americans when she applied for and landed a post at Harvard Law School.

WATCH: Geoff Diehl press conference