Although he might be considered a political outsider, Republican Gov. hopeful Chris Doughty demonstrated Sunday that he’s at least begun to master the political art of dodging direct questions.
When asked if he would vote for former President Donald Trump in a notional election in 2024 when he appeared on WCVB’s ‘On The Record’, Doughty said: ‘I usually always vote along party lines.
When questioned again, he repeated, “Usually I would.”
Doughty, a businessman from Wrentham, appeared on the air on Sunday to pitch his case to voters ahead of the state’s September 6 primary, explaining why they should pick him over his opponent, a political figure from Massachusetts veteran and former state representative Geoff Diehl.
It was Diehl’s alliance with the former president that may have made Doughty less definitive on the Trump issue.
Diehl has Trump’s endorsement, and many wondered if that was a good thing after the twice-impeached former president lost every Bay State county in the 2020 election.
The “On The Record” hosts framed one of their first questions for Doughty around the idea – whether his opponent’s closeness to Trump will help or hurt him with Massachusetts voters.
“You know that all candidates will have to explain for themselves why they should be candidates,” he said.
Doughty said there were a number of Trump policies that he said benefited the Commonwealth, particularly the president’s decisions regarding China and trade.
Doughty says his experience as an executive sets him apart from Diehl and he knows budgets and how to lead. His background in manufacturing, he said, gives him a grounding in working-class concerns.
Doughty said he does not support mask mandates or vaccine mandates and said he is essentially a fiscal conservative.
“I’ve pledged in my heart and soul to keep the line on taxes, so we have to be careful with the budget,” he said.
Doughty is a graduate of Harvard and Brigham Young universities. His upbringing and background as an executive, as well as his Mormon faith, have drawn comparisons to former Governor Mitt Romney.
But Doughty says he’s not really a Romney Republican either.
“I think everyone is different,” he replied. “Mitt comes from the private equity industry, I come from a manufacturing company where I work with the working class.”