Last Friday, October 1st, I withdrew from the Cahill ticket because I was convinced that Tim Cahill could no longer win and I did not want to be part of what I viewed as a concerted effort to re-elect Deval Patrick as Governor. I have been attacked considerably in the media over the past several days for making this important and personally difficult decision. Indeed, Tim Cahill and others have made wild and unfounded accusations, including that I never discussed with Tim in advance my concerns with his campaign, that have questioned my integrity, and that have asserted the existence of an improper insider deal with Charlie Baker. All of these allegations are totally baseless, and I categorically deny all such claims as false.
Based on the events of this past week and the disingenuous statements which Tim Cahill continues to make about me since announcing my departure from his ticket, I feel compelled to comment further at this time on my decision to leave the Cahill campaign.
Throughout Tim Cahill’s candidacy for Governor there has been continued speculation that his role would simply be that of a “spoiler” ensuring the re-election of Deval Patrick. As a lifelong Republican, prior to making my decision to join Tim as his Lt. Governor running mate I made clear that I would only run with him as an “independent Republican” and only after receiving assurances that he sincerely desired to forge a true independent ticket that would be elected and govern outside of traditional party politics and business as usual on Beacon Hill.
Tim made specific commitments to me concerning the conduct and strategy of the campaign and his future administration. He also committed that we would at all times be in the race solely to win and that the campaign would never become party to any efforts to re-elect Governor Patrick. Unfortunately, in my opinion he did not live up to those commitments and is not now running a campaign fit for the highest office in the Commonwealth.
After repeated meetings with Tim and his key team during the spring and summer expressing my ongoing frustrations with the promised conduct and strategy of the campaign, on Friday morning, September 17th I requested directly to Tim that we urgently needed to meet in private before the end of that weekend to discuss my serious concerns with the campaign. Tim completely ignored my request and only after the widely-reported departure of campaign strategist John Weaver and campaign manager Adam Meldrum did he finally agree to meet with me (a week after my earlier request) on Friday, September 24th (a full week before announcing my decision to withdraw).
In that meeting Tim admitted that the Republican members of our “team” – myself included – had essentially been removed from his inner circle since last May following the attack ads against him by the Republican Governors’ Association. While continuing to assert that there was a path to victory, it became obvious to me during the discussion that Tim can’t win and that he appears no longer to be pursuing a statewide campaign strategy to become Governor (in my opinion essentially writing off MetroWest and other critical areas of the State) and to be focusing instead only on solidifying his support in Quincy and the surrounding area (presumably to take votes away from Charlie Baker and to assist Deval Patrick).
Most disturbing, however, was Tim’s admission during our meeting that his top political advisor, Neil Morrison (a former aide now at Goldman Sachs who claims to be a close personal friend of senior Obama advisor David Axelrod), has been in direct communications with Doug Rubin (Deval Patrick’s top political advisor and former top advisor to Cahill), discussing and otherwise coordinating matters involving negative ad strategy against Charlie Baker, the timing of such ads, and coordination of the specific role that the Democratic Governors’ Association will play in the race (including $4 Million Tim claimed was now being targeted by the DGA against Charlie Baker in this race). When I asked, Tim did not deny the rumors that jobs in the prevailing administration among members of their currently opposing camps (with longstanding prior relationships in the Democratic Party) were also being arranged.
The moment my running mate looked me in the eye and essentially admitted that his campaign was coordinating efforts with the Patrick campaign and the Democratic Governors’ Association for what I considered to be the sole purpose of defeating Charlie Baker served as the defining moment for me in making the difficult decision to withdraw from the Cahill-Loscocco ticket. Given the many months I spent actively campaigning throughout Massachusetts with a passionate team of volunteers, it was with a sense of profound sadness that I recognized that this situation was deeply troubling and totally unacceptable. In the days following my last meeting with Tim, I struggled to find a reason to continue while knowing that our ticket could not win (and, in my opinion, with other factors appearing to be influencing campaign strategy), but my conscience would not let me and I finally came to terms with the shattering reality of what I needed to do. After discussing this situation with my family, I made the decision, solely on my own, to withdraw from the campaign.
Despite the anticipated uproar and baseless speculation which I certainly knew would follow my announcement to withdraw from the race, but recognizing that I could not in good faith be part of what I believe to be coordinated efforts seeking to re-elect Governor Patrick, on September 30th I reached out to Charlie Baker without reservation to offer him my full and unconditional support and endorsement. There were no “dirty political tricks” or insider deals between Charlie Baker and me. I explained privately to Charlie my reasons for leaving the Cahill campaign and my decision to support the Baker-Tisei ticket. I never asked for anything from Charlie Baker and he never offered me anything.
My loyalty as the candidate for Lt. Governor was always to the people of Massachusetts. I ran with the hope of bringing independent leadership and meaningful change to Beacon Hill, with Republican ideals to balance our ticket – not to be part of a Tammany Hall Democrat patronage system (which is what I believe the campaign has devolved into).
I had been previously been told by some within the campaign that there were certain serious ethical problems that made some of the senior staff at both the campaign and the Treasury extremely uncomfortable. At the time of the press conference announcing my withdrawal, I had no physical evidence of any wrongdoing so I did not mention these things. I decided, however, that I did not want to be part of any campaign that I believed to be resorting to desperate measures with the recognition that it cannot win.
The primary between the Independent ticket and Republican ticket in the hearts and minds of the voters who want a change from Governor Patrick is now over: Charlie Baker and Richard Tisei have prevailed. Clearly, either Charlie Baker or Deval Patrick will be the next Governor of Massachusetts.
Charlie Baker and Richard Tisei represent the best hope we now have for meaningful change, lower taxes, a better economy, and effective and responsive government in Massachusetts. We share a similar vision for our State and for the hopes and aspirations of those who live here.
I made what I strongly believe is the right decision and did this for the right reasons. I am confident that history will ultimately agree.