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Charlie Baker tells CNN voters will continue to reject partisans, heads to Florida

In a fairly rare interview with the national press Gov. Charlie Baker joined CNN’s Jake Tapper to explain exactly why some voters soured on his party this election cycle.

“The big message coming out of Tuesday, and I would argue the big message that voters are going to send going forward, is you need to demonstrate, in word and deed, that you believe this is always going to be about more than just your party,” he said.

A predicted “red wave” did not materialize once the majority of votes were counted after last Tuesday, and it eventually became clear that Republicans would not take control of the U.S. Senate and would not win gubernatorial contests in several states previously considered vulnerable.

As of Monday evening, with more than a dozen races yet to be decided, control of the House of Representatives was also in doubt.

Baker said there is a reason voters were willing to reject the most partisan of candidates nationally, despite party loyalties.

“Voters, generally speaking, but especially in battleground states, aren’t interested in extremism, they just aren’t,” he said.

“They want people who they believe are going to be reasonable, who are going to be collaborative and who represent sort of the fundamental tenet of democracy that it is supposed to be a distributed decision making model and you’re supposed to be okay with that,” he told Tapper in an interview aired Monday afternoon.

Tapper noted that Baker, himself not on the ballot this year, has won election to lead one of the most liberal states in the country twice, despite being a member of the Republican Party.
He’s leaving office with support hovering above 70%. Baker said it’s no secret why moderates, like him, manage to be elected where extremists fail.

“What voters want are candidates and elected officials who are going to reach out, who are going to engage with the so-called other side, and who are going to take seriously this idea that you are going to try to represent and hear the voices of all of the people that you serve,” he said.

Baker was in Florida Monday to help the Republican Governors Association with their efforts at keeping state houses in GOP control.

Herald wire services contributed.

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