Governor hopes reopening brings greater civility in debate

Political News

BOSTON (SHNS) – Fresh off a trip last week to Washington, D.C., Gov. Charlie Baker said he hopes to see “different kind of debate” on political issues with more face-to-face engagement as the country emerges from the pandemic.

Baker’s trip to Washington to meet with federal officials and members of Congress was one of the first times he’s left Massachusetts in the past year, apart from trips to Florida after the death of his father-in-law, he said during a radio appearance.

“I do think that, you know, everybody’s kind of been cooped up in their own cocoon and I really hope when everybody gets out of this and actually starts talking to people face to face, the quality of some of these discussions will get better,” he said. “I don’t know if that will happen or not. It may be sort of pie in the sky.”

Baker, who did not vote for former President Donald Trump in 2016 or 2020, has often been at odds with other members of his party. GBH’s Jim Braude asked the Republican governor what he believes he has in common “with the bulk of your leadership and rank-and-file Republicans in this country in May of 2021.”

Baker said political parties “change and they move and they move back and forth across a whole variety of issues and contexts and circumstances.”

“I still think here in the commonwealth, which is where I spend my time, the Republican Party is an appropriate check, for lack of a better word, on one-party majority,” he said. “I said when I ran for office the first time that I think constructive friction in public life is a good thing. It forces everybody to engage in a debate in a far more rational and reasonable and practical way than one-party rule does.”

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