Charley and I had a most enjoyable hour-long sitdown with US Rep. and Senate hopeful Mike Capuano yesterday at the Diesel Cafe in Somerville (which explains the substantial background noise in the recordings — sorry about that). Many thanks to Rep. Capuano and his staff for being so generous with their time.
We hit a lot of topics over the hour, and I’ve divided the audio up by question (as we did with our Coakley interview). One topic that came up again and again, in various ways, was the basic dynamic of insider vs. outsider: do you want someone who already knows Washington and its ways, or do you want someone new? With several candidates whose views on most major issues appear similar, that dynamic strikes me as very important in this race.
Capuano’s answer to that is very clear: he says of people pushing to elect an outsider that “they’re going to hurt the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Here are several questions that touched on this topic in different ways — don’t miss his discussion of Rep. John Murtha, with respect to whom Capuano has already been in the paper recently.
- Charley asked how Capuano would influence his colleagues; Capuano answered that by explaining how he gets things done in Congress, and used Jack Murtha as an example.
- I followed up, pointing out that at some point ends always justifying means becomes problematic, as we’ve seen with Sal DiMasi. Capuano offered an unyielding defense of his approach, and explained why it led to his vote against defunding ACORN.
- Charley asked about specific earmarks sponsored by Capuano and connected to Murtha. Capuano remained resolute in refusing to judge his colleagues, and in continuing to work with the person who is “the one who can help get the things done that I want to get done.”
- A bit later in the conversation, I asked what Capuano would say to a voter who likes him on the issues but who, other things being equal, would prefer an outsider in the Senate. This is where he claimed that such a person would “hurt the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Great stuff.
Health care, Cape Wind, and more, all to come.