Here’s the key passage from Lehigh’s op-ed today.
Asked if he would continue going to Hudak events and thereby keep lending him credibility, Baker replied: “I’ve been going to campaign events for all kinds of candidates and I’m going to continue to do that.”
So, I said, we may see you at another Bill Hudak event?
“I don’t actually make my calendar,” he said. “Other people make my schedule for me.”
I started to ask whether he saw any problem with attending an event for a candidate who had likened Obama to a mass murdering terrorist.
“We already told you . . . we agree a lot of that stuff is offensive and inappropriate and not to be tolerated,” he answered.
Hmmm. It seems to me that attending and speaking at a Hudak event falls leagues short of that standard. Why, I’d argue that it’s better described as tolerating those offensive views than not tolerating them. To clarify, I asked if Baker would still lend his presence to Hudak.
“I didn’t say that,” the candidate replied. I noted that his comments suggested he might. “I don’t know where I’m going to be or who I’m going to be with between now and the end of the race,” he said. “I don’t get to control all that stuff, Scot. And you know that.”
Whoa. I mean, whoa. “I don’t get to control all that stuff”?? Good Lord, Charlie, who is running your campaign? Is this your campaign, or Rob Gray’s, or some other faceless consultant that nobody but you ever talks to?
Lehigh, rightly, calls Baker out on this craven display. (Emphasis in the original.)
Actually, Charlie, I don’t know that. I realize that you can’t help it if you and Hudak both attend the same town picnic or GOP rally. But I certainly thought that you were capable of saying to your staff, Folks, Hudak is beyond the pale. I’m not going to appear at anything else his campaign sponsors. Period.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again now: Man up, Charlie. You are running for Governor, not flunkie-in-chief. If you haven’t got the balls to tell your staff that you don’t want to show up at Bill Hudak’s events any more, well, it’s hard to imagine how you are going to change Beacon Hill.
David Bernstein at the Phoenix piles on today in light of Lehigh’s column, rightly wondering aloud whether Baker’s claim of being some sort of moderate can stand up to pressure.
if Baker comes to need the right more than he needs the middle — now or in the future — I for one would like to know that he’ll stand by his claim to moderation. He’s not giving me much confidence so far.