Social Conservatives Threaten To Pull Support From MA GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Over Running Mate’s Stance On Gay Marriage


Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker is facing heat from social conservatives within his own party after his running mate, Karyn Polito, endorsed gay marriage this week. The Boston Globe reports that though Polito had originally agreed to moderate her stance on gay marriage by saying she would "not work to undo the progress achieved over the last decade,” in essence taking a play out of Mitt Romney's handbook, who in his 1994 run for Teddy Kennedy's senate seat "described himself as 'personally opposed' to abortion, but promised not to challenge existing abortion law," that more pacifistic plan went out the window after Baker and Polito announced their ticket:

BakerThe issue quickly came to a head after Baker and Polito appeared at a Shrewsbury diner to announce their ticket on Tuesday. A Globe reporter then inquired of a Baker campaign aide about Polito's position on gay marriage. The aide, who did not want to be quoted, replied that Polito favored the current gay marriage law.

In an e-mail exchange, the Globe asked whether it would be fair to say she favored gay marriage, and the aide replied that it would. That exchange was reflected in a Globe article Wednesday.

That clear-cut declaration eliminated the carefully designed nuance and set off a firestorm within social conservative circles, where Polito has been very popular.

Conservative activists, who oppose Baker’s socially liberal views on gay marriage and abortion, had been ready to support him for his fiscal conservatism and out of a desire to wrest control of the corner office from Democrats.

Social conservatives in the party are now urging their "ideological colleagues" to switch their support to Baker's only Republican challenger at this time, Mark Fisher.

Baker previously ran for governor in 2010 against current incumbent Deval Patrick, who has said he would retire after 2014. Baker also drew the ire of some Republicans for choosing Richard Tisei, a gay, pro-choice candidate as his running mate in 2010. Earlier this year the Baker campaign distributed a flier at the state's GOP convention that voiced opposition to a proposed "transgender rights" bill co-sponsored by Tisei, prompting speculation Baker was eager to win back social conservatives. Baker's response?

“'I think a guy who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice and has been pretty clear on those and picked a gay fella as his running mate is pretty much not pandering to much of anybody,' he said, placing a hand on Tisei's shoulder."


  1. RonCharles says

    I guess these outdated Dinosaurs did not get the memo telling them that Massachusetts had, had gay marriage for a decade and that it will never be repealed.

  2. bkmn says

    Ancient proverb:

    Stick head in ground like ostrich, don’t be surprised if your head is chopped off.

    Though I don’t expect the gentle, loving Tea folk to be able to learn the lesson.

  3. norseman says

    Anti gay, anti gay marriage won’t fly in my home state of Massachusetts and any politician here knows that and would be stupid to put any other message out there. While we have had a an interesting history of putting liberal Republicans in the Governors office, we’d never elect anyone who played to a Conservative Republican base. if you don’t understand that you need to take your marbles and go home. Romney actually got it, and was a different man when he was in office in Massachusetts. That came back to haunt him many times in his Presidential bid.

  4. Tito says

    It’s too bad. I actually voted for Charlie Baker last time. He’s a real moderate, a fiscal conservative, pro-gay, and just a level headed guy. The country would be much better off and would accomplish more with people like him – people who don’t pander to the extremes of either side.

  5. MikeBoston says

    This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    In Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that to deny full civil marriage equality is unconstitutional. The anti-gay bigots have tried twice to change the state constitution (particularly difficult in MA.) and failed. Marriage equality is the law of the land in the Commonwealth and politicians aren’t going to change that.

    The stupid, it burns!

  6. brian1 says

    I don’t know if Towleroad butchered this story or if it’s just a nonsensical situation, but the story makes zero sense.
    As I understand it, pro-gay marriage Baker chose pro-gay marriage Polito as his running mate. For some reason Polito changed her language to moderate the support a bit, but has now gone back to her original strong pro-gay marriage stance. And social conservatives are outraged at this??? Why would they possibly get irate about the lieutenant governor’s waffling between moderate and strong supporter of gay marriage while being ok that the infinitely more important candidate for governor is just plain pro-gay marriage?

  7. Moniker says

    “I am against marriage equality, so if you are against marriage equality too vote VOTE ME ”

    ‘My running mate is for marriage equality so if you are for marriage equality, still VOTE ME”

    “SEEEEE? I got everyone covered”

  8. Hey Darlin' says

    Focus on the REAL problems in your party. Supporting equality in a state with equality isn’t really an issue. All that’s happening is the GOP’s anxiety is showing (good).

  9. jamal49 says

    One yearns for those Republicans of courage who have had enough of the fundamentalist filth and evangelical effluvia the continues to corrupt the American body politic and is pushing the GOP well down the road to political extinction. Refreshing it would be if the Republican contenders in Massachusetts told those extremist religious reprobates to go screw themselves.

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