One GOP, two inaugural messages

Boston Statehouse

Gov. Charlie Baker. (Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS/File 2020)

BOSTON (SHNS) – For Gov. Charlie Baker and his Massachusetts Republican Party, inauguration day was a contrast in words. Baker used his office’s official Twitter account shortly after President Joe Biden delivered his inaugural address from the steps of the Capitol to congratulate, on behalf of himself and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, the Democrat and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration.

“We wish them and their families all the best, and look forward to partnering with the new administration on behalf of the people of Massachusetts,” Baker said.

It was the governor’s only public statement for the day, during which he had no public events. MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons issued a statement of his own hours earlier, only Lyons was congratulating former President Donald Trump for the past four years.

“President Trump made big promises during his legendary 2016 campaign, and he kept them,” Lyons said. “Under his leadership, we established our energy independence, ended the scourge of ISIS while forging the most peaceful relations within the Middle East in generations, and experienced the most successful American economic boom in years, just to name a few things.”

He also thanked Trump for enacting a massive tax cut and for his efforts to “protect the lives of the unborn, for which millions of Americans are so thankful for.”

Lyons said nothing about Biden, who planned to spend some of his first hours as president undoing many of the actions Trump took over the last four years, including rejoining the Paris climate accord.

“Prior to the onset of a global pandemic, his policies undeniably moved this country forward,” Lyons said. “As Republicans, Trump taught us that to save this country from the Radical Left, we have to be unafraid to stand up for the principles we believe in that made America great.”

The divergent messages from the two Republican leaders was just another example of how far the governor has strayed from the formal GOP apparatus in Massachusetts.

In just the past week, Baker backed Trump’s impeachment while his party condemned the violence at the Capitol, but stopped short of ascribing any culpability to the now former president.

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