Mass. GOP Senate candidate defends letter to Gov.

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March 14, 2013, 7:09 pm
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(NECN: Alison King) - Gabriel Gomez is defending a letter he wrote to Mass. Governor Deval Patrick in January which asked Patrick to consider him for John Kerry's interim U.S. Senate seat.  

"I just assumed that was already out there in the press and people had already seen that letter. I've got nothing to hide," Gomez said.

At issue are some statements that were made in the letter, which critics say Gomez is now contradicting.

For example, Gomez wrote: "I supported President Obama in 2008."

But at his campaign kick off, Gomez said that while he made a contribution to Obama in the Democratic primary, "In the end in 2008, in the election, I went with the Navy guy, I voted for John McCain."

Asked Thursday about the discrepancy, Gomez said, "What I meant by: I support the President, what I meant is I support the fact that the President is now finally - he campaigned on this before but he didn't do anything on this in the first term. He's now elevating this to a national discussion."

So Gomez didn't mean to send the message that he had voted for President Obama? According to Gomez, absolutely not.
 
When asked about the letter, Governor Patrick said, "I didn't think about it very much frankly, there were a lot of good people in the pool. He was a relatively late entrant."

Governor Patrick touched on a different part of the letter, where Gomez wrote he supports Obama's position on immigration and gun control - though at a Tuesday forum, Gomez said he does not support an assault weapons ban, a key aspect of Obama's position.

"I guess the question is, is having said in the letter that he supports an assault weapons ban and now as a candidate that he doesn't, what that says about his convictions," Patrick said.

More worrisome for the the Gomez campaign is the reaction from fellow Republicans.

The Red Mass Group blog entry is titled "End of Campaign?" and says the letter casts a new light on the Gomez campaign.

Conservative host Michael Graham has made Gomez a daily topic of his radio show.

"I don't know if he was telling the truth when he told Governor Patrick that he voted for President Obama. All I know is that Gabriel Gomez was lying one of those two times," Graham said.

Gomez shrugs off the criticism.

"I'm not a career politician. I'm running against a couple of career politicians who, unfortunately, their first reaction is to go out and attack and I think the American people are really, really tired of this," he said.

Gomez has just released what he calls a plan to re-boot Congress. He highlights seven ideas including a call for term limits, a lifetime ban prohibiting members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, and a balanced budget amendment.

Tags: Deval Patrick, Alison King, Michael Graham, gabriel gomez, MA Senate race 2013
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