Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker, who remains essentially unknown by more than a third of the electorate, emphasized what he said are his fiscally conservative, socially moderate stances today in a radio interview, continuing to introduce himself to voters and tell them who he is.
Baker said he was pretty much cut from the cloth of former governor William F. Weld, in whose administration he worked in the 1990s.
“I’m a pro-choice candidate and I support marriage equality — my brother is actually gay and married. But I’m a pretty hard-headed guy when it comes to the budget and whether you’re getting a bang for your buck,” a tired-sounding Baker said in a morning interview on WGBH-FM.
During his losing campaign against Governor Deval Patrick in 2010, Baker signed a no-new-tax pledge, but has not this election cycle.
In the interview, he emphasized his position on taxes was essentially unchanged and separated him from Democrats in the race.
“I’m not going to raise taxes. I didn’t take the pledge primarily because I think our tax code is incredibly complicated and if people have some thoughts and ideas about how to simplify it ... I want to be able to engage them in that conversation,” he said, adding that Massachusetts had raised taxes repeatedly in recent years and government ought to “live within its means.”
Baker noted his support for ballot question that would repeal the law that adjusts the gas tax based on changes in inflation.
The most recent Boston Globe poll found 35 percent of likely voters either didn’t recognize Baker’s name or recognized it but couldn’t say their opinion of him. Baker had a 47 percent favorable rating and an 18 percent unfavorable rating in a poll conducted from July 7-8 and July 13-15.
Baker faces businessman Mark Fisher in a GOP primary on Sept. 9. Also running for governor are three Democrats and three independent candidates.