WBUR

Senate Hopeful Gabriel Gomez Distances Himself From GOP

BOSTON — At a campaign stop Monday at McKay’s diner in Quincy, Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, got an earful from another veteran who had come in for breakfast.

“Take your act somewhere else, OK?” said Ralph Evans, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He blames the Republican Party for the war in Afghanistan.

“My country has been driven right into the ground by people of that party. My brothers in arms are getting their ass blown away because of what his party did,” Evans said. “No army in the history of the world has ever succeeded in Afghanistan. Alexander of Macedonia couldn’t do it. The British couldn’t do it. The Russians couldn’t do it. And we’re not going to do it. And all we’re doing is getting ourselves bled dry, bled dry.”

Evans ties Gomez to the Republican Party. But Gomez has come to the diner precisely to distance himself from Republican policies that have alienated many Americans. Gomez says he wants to go to Washington to move his party in a different direction.

“I’m a new Republican, and I’m going to make this a new Republican Party,” he said. “Now, I’m sure in the next few months, when I get down to D.C., a lot of my comrades in the Republican Party are going to think I’m a major pain in the butt, but I’m OK with that.”

As Evans hisses in the background, Gomez says if elected he wants to help his party by moving it in five new ways.

“I’m going to help [the Republican Party] appeal to all Americans, as opposed to the privileged few. I’m going to help them with gay marriage, I’m pro-gay-marriage. I’m a green Republican, I believe in climate change. I’m going to get more of them to come over on my side,” Gomez said. “I believe in immigration reform, I’m going to get more of my Republican counterparts to come along with me. And I believe in gun control and expanded background checks.”

Gomez pointed out that only four Republicans supported expanded background checks the last time the issue was up for a vote in the Senate. He promises to rally more Republicans and more conservative Democrats. He is trying to counter efforts by his Democratic rival Rep. Ed Markey to tie him to Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and McConnell’s plans to obstruct President Obama.

“Well, Mitch McConnell sent out a fundraising email last week saying that he needs Gabriel Gomez in Washington, that Gabriel Gomez is a central part of his plan to take over the United States Senate for the Republican Party,” Markey said at the Hebrew Senior Life Center in Brookline. “And coupled with the Republican control of the United States House of Representatives, that would pretty much signal an end to the Obama agenda in our country.”

Markey was in Brookline to receive the endorsement of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy and niece of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. She argued that Markey, who has been in Congress for 37 years, would work with Republicans just as Gomez promises to work with Democrats.

“I think that Ed has demonstrated throughout his career ability to work across the aisle, and I think that’s a tremendous advantage in Massachusetts, to have somebody with the experience and the knowledge of how this very complex system works,” Kennedy said. “And I certainly saw that up close with my uncle Teddy. To master that process is really something that takes time and dedication.”

In a way, this U.S. Senate race is replaying some of the themes of the last one. Elizabeth Warren won in part because she successfully undercut Scott Brown’s appeal as an independent Republican. She did it by tying him to Mitch McConnell. Markey is reviving the strategy in the hope that it will appeal to Massachusetts voters once again.

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  • TMAC

    I remember when Markey was first elected to Congress………on the promise to serve only one term…………..37 years later

    • teabaghater

      yes but was he not voted in every time?

      • TMAC

        A Democrat elected multiple times in MA. I am doing my eTrade baby surprised face now. Please, the point is Markey has no credibility. He isn’t alone in that situation but he is there nonetheless.

    • cheapster505

      add who voted him in all these years ?himself?

    • jefe68

      Well I guess all those folks who voted for him don’t count.

  • al green

    green republican.lol,this dude aint no republican hes a liberal loon

    • Voice of Rationality

      Anyone to the left of Mohammed Omar is considered a RINO and will be No True Scotsman-ed right out of the party.

    • J__o__h__n

      He is “green” as in inexperienced.

  • Jim Stafford

    The way the Senate works, a vote for a moderate R is still a vote for Mitch McConnell. It’s really hard for a new comer to shake things up there.

  • J__o__h__n

    Assuming Gomez is sincere regarding gay marriage, climate change, immigration reform, gun control, and expanded background checks, how effective can he really be as a freshman Republican with no legislative experience? Newt and McConnell are supporting him because in a legislative body it is just a question of math. He will be a vote for Mitch McConnell. Even if he votes against them from time to time, he will increase the strength of the national Republican party and their anti gay, anti environment, anti immigrant, anti gun control, anti background checks agenda. He didn’t mention trying to change the Repubilcans on reproducitve issues. And most importantly, how would he vote on supreme court nominations?

    • jefe68

      He wont be able to do anything and he knows it.
      He will be made to tow the GOP line. I’m always weary when a Republican or Democratic candidate makes these attempts to “distance” themselves from the party ticket they are running under. Why not run as an independent if that’s what you’re going for? It’s disingenuous and given he is tracking low in the polls I don’t see him winning this.
      Green Republican? Is there such a thing?

      The other issue is Gomez does not have the legislature experience that Scott Brown had when he went to DC. Nor is he as good at campaigning as Brown which is why Brown won the first time out.

      • CEMQ

        jefe68,

        Brown was elected because his adversary screwed up. She acted like she was going to get crowned and only had to show up to the coronation.

        Markey has a good record, understands Massachusetts and stands for the right things, preserving Social Security, assisting the middle class, good quality education for all, improving the safety net, real and just immigration reform, increasing taxes for the top earners and large corporations. Making Wall Street and the Banks be responsible for more than only increasing their bottom lines at the expense of everyone else.

    • jeffbax

      Rand Paul has been a very effective freshman thorn in the GOP’s side and doing a lot to direct the party for the better.

      I think there’s a very legitimate argument that new blood attempting to bring change within the GOP is going to do a lot more good for the country than an old bag incumbent who has been around for 37 years toeing the DNC line without hesitation.

      • CEMQ

        jeffbax,

        Rand Paul is even worse than Gomez. Worse than his own Dad.

        Nobody in the GOP/Tea is an alternative to anything.All they offer are racist, right wing policies that mean to take us back to the 1800s.

        And as a Latino friend of mine said; “He might even speak Spanish, he says he is one of us, but he is not proposing anything that helps usa ttain the American Dream.

        • jeffbax

          You know, when you dismiss and demonize your opponents irrationally, you show yourself to be not very worth engaging but I will bite just a little bit before I find something better to do.

          While the Tea Party has been co-opted to an extent, it started out as a fiscal response. Additionally, if Rand Paul was racist he wouldn’t be one of the most outspoken proponents for curtailing our very destructive drug war among many other policies that are largely detrimental to minority groups. He’s also pretty fantastic so far on civil liberties – you know, with that whole 14 hour filibuster trying to get a straight answer on drones and the limits of presidential power – things that those on the left used to care about before “their guy” started Bush’s 3rd and 4th term.

          Did you even realize that Obama’s personal PR deflection shield Eric Holder has ratcheted up the drug war and put more minorities behind bars than even Bush?

          I suggest you open your horizons a bit, because if you make blanket (and incorrect) statements about groups or ways of thinking outside your own little bubble or gags you see on the Daily Show you’re really going to do yourself and the country a disservice in the long term.

          Good ideas can come from anywhere, whether it’s from an elephant, a donkey, a porcupine, or green party guys. I’m focusing on Rand now because you seem completely oblivious with how unhappy the likes of John Boehner and other GOP establishment figures have been with him challenging the status quo on issues like drugs, marriage laws, defense spending, inclusiveness, and immigration among others (because he correctly realizes if they don’t start reaching out to others the party will be increasingly irrelevant to younger generations).

          In case you are wondering, my voting record is Kerry ’04, Obama ’08, Johnson ’12 – so you’d be hard pressed to label me as someone in love with the GOP.

          What I’m not in love with is incumbents and this lousy status quo we’ve had for 12 years now. If Gomez wants to be a GOP reformer the likes of Christie, Jindal, Paul and Amash I welcome it. Democrats these days largely only look good because Republicans look so bad, but they’re going to likely have to find themselves too with the way their approval ratings are going and the looming fiscal bust that will be our entitlement programs and in particular for the DNC education reform.

  • Voice of Rationality

    The only thing I’m interested in is whether he’d vote for cloture.

    • http://www.wbur.org/people/fthys Fred Thys

      He has said he would.

  • FrancisMcManus

    Gomez ties himself in knots trying to make himself appeal-able.

    A “green Republican” who supports KeystoneXL pipeline because it’ll make us energy independent, whaaa? It’s tar sands from Canada mixed with toxic Benzene, piped over half the country, our aquifers, rivers and lakes, then refined in Houston and shipped abroad. There’s no way to clean up the toxic spills except paper towels. That’s what a green Republican is. Buy that and you’re a fool.

    Gomez say cut Social Security benefits over time but that’s ok because Obama says do it, too. Seriously, you paid in your entire working life; are you going to let Gomez and Obama cut your social Security check over time? No thank you. Markey says no way. Warren says no way. Atleast Gomez can say he agrees with Obama on one issue but not on guns, which he promised Gov Patrick he did.

    Gomez is for military-style assault weapon and large capacity magazines because, get this, he’s fired them. So has Adam Lanza! The kid massacred 20 kids and 6 adults in less than 5 minutes. Military firepower in civilian society cost lives, not just one or two but 9 to 29 at a time! Retired military brass and police chiefs say enough, ban sales! WalMart has helped make the AR-15 the most popular gun in America. By all means, sell more of these military-style assault weapons and large-cap mags because we haven’t had enough Newtowns, Auroras, Tucsons. We need to arm civilians with military-style weapons. Ladies and gentlemen, your “new kind” of Republican.

  • FrancisMcManus

    Title should be :

    Senate Hopeful Gabriel Gomez Pretends He’s “Green” and Not “Republican”

  • CEMQ

    Gomez, as friend says “eres un Republicano, no nos quieres a nosotros”.

    In English – You are a Republican, you do not want us.

    Not even Latinos are going to vote for him.

  • lbjack

    If he wants to sound like a Democrat, then he should become a Democrat.

  • lbjack

    If he’s elected as a Repub, then he will caucus with the GOP. It is far more important to prevent a GOP takeover of the Senate than to elect a “right-voting” Repub. Even if Gomez were Jesus Christ, “Old Scratch” McConnell would still be the boss.

  • FrancisMcManus

    It’s a failure of journalism to transcribe Gomez claim: “I believe in gun control and expanded background checks” without asking him to explain the obvious reality gap in the claim to “believe in gun control” when we know from prior statements that he opposes a ban on sales of military-style assault weapons.

    It’s as if Gomez says what people want to hear even when it’s not true.

    He could say “I am for expanded background checks” but h cannot say that and also claim to support gun control when he opposes the measure on the table to ban military-style assault weapons and large capcity magazines.

    It’s shoddy journalism to leave this is an open question and not ask him what he means by “gun control.”

    • CEMQ

      FrancisMcManus,

      What do you expect? He is a Republican!

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