Bickford: Baker’s job “isn’t to be liked”

Boston Statehouse

Massachusetts State House

BOSTON (SHNS) – The Massachusetts Democratic Party remains focused on Gov. Charlie Baker, whose job they are hoping to flip to a Democrat in 2022.

Party chair Gus Bickford on Wednesday used Baker’s pandemic management and response to poke at the governor, suggesting Democrats elected to run Boston and other nearby communities are taking stronger steps to prevent COVID-19 transmission because Baker isn’t willing to.

“Just as Donald Trump deferred responsibility for the management of the pandemic to individual states, leading to a disjointed and deadly response, Charlie Baker is taking a page from the Trump playbook and leaving it to the 351 municipalities in our state to manage the crisis on their own,” Bickford said in a statement. “Baker’s approach shows an acceptance of the damage that resulted from the Trump strategy that he is following, and it displays an ignorance that assumes that people strictly stay within the borders of the town in which they reside.”

Baker, who has periodically criticized President Trump, has scored strong ratings in polls measuring his pandemic management. In a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll taken Dec. 7-10, nearly 72 percent of state residents approved of the job Baker is doing with the virus while 21 percent disapproved.

In June, the split was 81-14. Pollsters reported that approval for Baker’s handling of the coronavirus dropped 14 points among women, 16 points among rural residents, and 25 points among Hispanics.

The governor has said he’s trying to balance virus control with the need to keep the economy and schools functioning, while frequently mentioning that the state’s 351 cities and towns are free to enact stronger anti-virus measures if they wish.

“Baker’s regular press conferences frequently feature moments where he lets the media and viewers know that he is the victim of unfair critics,” Bickford said. “Perhaps he needs a reminder that his job isn’t to be liked, it’s to be a leader. If that means upsetting some friends, that’s what you do. It’s time for Governor Baker to put the well-being of the people of Massachusetts over appeasing those with his cell phone number.”

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