Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker will be missing in action from a major GOP fundraiser in Boston Tuesday featuring Vice President Mike Pence because he has other stuff on his calendar.
Baker told reporters Monday that he would not attend the Republican National Committee-sponsored event because he was scheduled to be in New Bedford and “did not know about it.”
“I’m not sending a message,” Baker said. “I’m just not going to be here because my calendar has all kinds of other stuff on it which is important.”
“My calendar was full. I didn’t know about it. Generally speaking, when important federal officials come through town if we have a chance to say hello to them we try to, whether they’re Republican or Democrats,” the Massachusetts governor added, claiming his absence was not intentional.
Despite the Massachusetts governor’s list of excuses, prominent Republican officials in the state are not happy with Baker for what they see is his attempt to distance himself from the Trump administration before President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
“I think that’s absolutely a disgrace that he’s snubbing the vice president,” Mary Lou Daxland, president of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly, told the Boston Herald.
Daxland added that it is a “disgrace” that the Massachusetts governor is turning down a chance to appear with the vice president of the United States.
Massachusetts Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito will not attend the event in Baker’s place. When asked about the event, she stated that she “was not asked to attend” and had other commitments.
Pence is scheduled to appear with RNC chair Ronna Romney McDaniel at the Tuesday event, where donors are expected to pay at least $15,000 to attend. The fundraiser is expected to bring in half a million dollars for the Trump/Pence victory fund.
Baker has publicly stated that he would not vote for the president in the 2016 presidential election and has criticized the Trump administration in the past.