Hours before Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Boston for a Republican fundraiser Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker was getting ready to head out of town.
Baker is the featured speaker at a Chamber of Commerce dinner in Westport. But many wonder if the Governor, an outspoken critic of Donald Trump and his administration, would have attended the Vice President’s event, even if his schedule had been wide open.
Baker said his event had been scheduled a long time ago: “I reached out to the Vice President’s office, told him I wasn’t going to be around and they certainly understood that.”
The Pence visit has provided Baker’s critics with plenty of material.
From Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Massie: “Our Republican Governor should seize every opportunity he gets to try to talk some sense into Vice President Pence about the Trump agenda, and at the very least to advise him of the grave consequences of any obstruction of justice in the investigation headed by Robert Mueller.”
Asked how he characterized the awkwardness between being a Republican and disagreeing with the Trump administration Baker said, “Well, there are a lot of Democrats who end up disagreeing with members of their party as well.”
Republican Oswaldo Palomo is attending the fundraiser, which he says will probably attract a lot of business leaders who care about what is going on in the administration.
“I think given the Governor’s schedule, this just conflicted with that. I wouldn’t read too much into it other than probably missed timing.”
When first asked Monday about Pence's visit, Baker said he had not been aware of the event ahead of time and had already committed to an appearance in southeastern Massachusetts.
Baker noted he met with Pence during a recent National Governor's Association meeting.
Baker, who did not vote for President Trump in 2016, denied he was trying to send any message to the administration.
Tickets to the Pence fundraiser range from $15,000 for a couple which includes a photo op with the VP - to $35,000 for the roundtable discussion. The money raised will benefit the Trump Victory Committee.