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Capuano Says Voters Look Behind Identity Politics To The Issues12:01
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U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano at WBUR (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano at WBUR (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Congressman Michael Capuano will face a challenge from Boston Councilor Ayanna Pressley in the Democratic primary for the state's 7th district seat.

Click here for our conversation with Pressley.

Guest

Michael Capuano, representative for Massachusetts 7th District. He tweets @repmikecapuano.

Interview Highlights

On why he deserves another term

"The district has changed and it's always changing. The times have changed and people do need to change with them and I believe I have done that.

"During [Pressley's] interview, I didn't hear any specifics as to things that we would do differently, which I think what elections are all about. Yes, it's what you have done yesterday, but it's also about what you will do, more importantly, tomorrow. And that's about issues. I think that all campaigns will be about that whether the candidates like that or not."

On identity politics

"I don't think the people run to the polls and vote simply on the basis of identity. Yes, it is a factor, of course we all know that. It's also ethnicity, gender and gender identity. People do take those factors into account. But if that were the case, every single elected official in this country would be a female because women outnumber men all across the country. And that's not what people do. They may say OK, that's one factor. The other factors are, what do you stand for? What have you done? What are you going to do tomorrow?

Ayanna Pressley and I would probably vote the exact same way on pretty much every vote we'd have on the floor of the House. I think it's a little unfortunate that we have to spend time and money on a family fight. Look, I cannot be a woman of color. And if that's what people care about that's fine. I accept that, I understand that. I just don't think there are that many people who will vote for me because I'm a white male or vote against me because I'm a white male. Ninety-nine percent of my constituents will look way beyond those things. It's a factor, but the bigger factor is what can you do for me? What can you do for my family? What position are you in to push the issues we care about and to successfully do that?"

On bringing a different lens to the 7th district

"I have 800,000 constituents — each and every one of them has a different lens on life, including my wife. And they're all important. Politicians try to see the world through other people's lenses and try to bring people together so that we can have a mutual view of the world — and how do we work together, not from the individual views that we all have."

This segment aired on February 1, 2018.

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