Charlie Baker yesterday:
Baker said he thought people who come to the Pine Street Inn for shelter should have to show proof of residency. “I think we should require it for everything,” said Baker, a former budget chief under GOP Govs. Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci. “I mean, I don’t think it’s appropriate for people who are residents of Massachusetts to be on waiting lists when people who aren’t residents and citizens are taking advantage of services.”
Sounds pretty clear to me. Ah, but not so fast. Charlie Baker (or, more precisely, his campaign flacks) today:
“Emergency situations, nobody will ever be turned away,” said Baker campaign spokesman Rick Gorka…. Gorka said yesterday that the Pine Street Inn offers both long-term housing and emergency services and that Baker was referring only to those needing long-term assistance.
“It’s not in contradiction, or anything like that,” Gorka said.
Oh, no, clearly the two statements are entirely consistent with each other. No flip-flop, no backtracking, no walking-back at all going on. Nothing to see here, folks, move along. Obviously, a child could have told you that Baker was talking only about the long-term services offered by Pine Street Inn. Even though, as the Globe correctly notes, “Baker did not draw that distinction, however, during the initial news conference when the question was asked.”
Really quite amusing (and precisely what I predicted would happen). Charlie Baker is a smart guy, and one keeps thinking that, eventually, he will become a less terrible candidate and stop saying stupid things (this one was pretty good, though my personal favorite remains his assertion that a family earning $1.7 million is “middle class”). But, so far, there’s no sign of it.