Longtime Republican operative Beth Lindstrom formally kicked off her campaign for US Senate on Saturday, taking square aim at Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who she said spent more time “lecturing, raging, and grandstanding” than serving her constituents.
“Winning stardom among the left wing is not the same as winning the confidence of the working people of this state,” said Lindstrom, who spoke before a small crowd at District Hall in Boston’s Seaport. “I will offer something new because Senator Warren’s routine is getting old.”
Lindstrom painted Warren as angry, ineffective, and consumed with the national political agenda rather than the needs of her home state. In contrast, Lindstrom declared herself “not a professional politician” and called for a government in which politicians worked across party lines.
“I’m going to try as your senator to work with anyone willing to work with me,” she said. “When militant posturing gives way to that spirit, good things can start to happen.”
Lindstrom, who is scheduled to raise money in Washington later this month, is one in a crowd of Republicans jockeying to challenge Warren. Shiva Ayyadurai, state Representative Geoff Diehl, and John Kingston also are seeking the nomination. Kingston is scheduled to formalize his campaign later this month.
The first female executive director of the state Republican Party, Lindstrom managed Scott Brown’s victorious Senate campaign and appeared on many voters’ TV screens in 2014, when she appeared in ads for a super PAC backing Republican Charlie Baker. The Groton resident was executive director of the state Lottery in the 1990s and, later, chief of consumer affairs and business regulation during the Romney administration.
In her speech Saturday, Lindstrom highlighted her own modest background. She started working at 16 as a chambermaid, she said, and put herself through state school on student loans and a waitressing job. She earned her MBA while parenting a toddler and an infant, and working full time, she said.
“In all of this, I’ve learned a few things,” she said. “If you really focus on the work at hand as a public official, leaving the shouting and theatrics to others, you can actually accomplish a lot.”
Lindstrom criticized Warren’s stance on health care, saying the senator was “all-in for completely socialized medicine.” Lindstrom favors stabilizing the system, she said, protecting it from more sudden shocks, and fixing “obvious problems.” She did not take questions after the speech or discuss specific steps she would take.
She also hit Warren over her support for so-called sanctuary cities, where local police do not coordinate with federal agents to enforce immigration laws.
“I support legal immigration; it makes our country rich and diverse,” Lindstrom said. “But I also believe there should be no sanctuary cities for anyone hiding from our immigration laws, and least of all for violent felons.”
Lindstrom also advocated cutting the corporate tax rate and expanding the child tax credit. She promised to be an advocate for veterans and said she wanted to take care of people who have fallen victim to the opioid crisis while bringing justice to dealers and traffickers who have profited.
While Lindstrom’s speech focused heavily on the problems created by hyperpartisanship in Washington, she only touched on President Trump once.
“One of the questions I often hear is, what about President Trump?” she said. “The answer is, that as your senator, I do not work for Donald Trump, my job is to work for the people of Massachusetts. I will work with the president when he is right, oppose him when he is wrong, and always show respect for the office that he holds.”
Her opponents, she said, offered only either “blind loyalty” or “blind hostility” to Trump — which, she said, would not help the country make progress. The state needs a senator who can work with the administration, she said.Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.