5:47 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Republican Shift: Mass. GOP Moves To The Right — Or Does It?

Gabriel Gomez campaigned in Harvard Square.
Gabriel Gomez

It’s a high-stakes moment for the Massachusetts GOP. With Deval Patrick’s tenure as governor drawing to a close and the state’s Department of Children and Families embroiled in controversy, Republicans have a fighting chance to retake the Corner Office, if their platform doesn't get in the way.

The new GOP platform, which was approved earlier this week, doesn’t shy away from hot-button issues. Take same-sex marriage. The GOP platform says “traditional marriage strengthens our society” and suggests the public should get a vote on marriage rights. There’s also a nod to “religious liberty,” which happens to be the basis for Arizona’s push to legalize anti-gay discrimination. On abortion, meanwhile, the platform states: “every instance of abortion is tragic.”

Recently, on WGBH’s The Scrum, GOP consultant Meredith Warren said the platform poses a political risk.

“At a time when could be talking about the state having a higher unemployment rate than the national average, or the DCF tragedy,” Warren said, “we’re talking about gay marriage. And that plays right into the Democrats’ hands.”

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker may agree. In a statement made through his spokesman, Baker said he’s pro-choice and has “always been a strong supporter of marriage equality.”

Baker isn’t the only Republican worrying that, in a big election year, the new platform could be the last thing the GOP needs. GOP chair Kirsten Hughes, who actually voted against the new platform, spoke dismissively of it in an interview with the Quincy Patriot-Ledger. And former U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez was even more pointed, writing on Facebook, “And we wonder why the MA GOP continues to be viewed as the extreme, out of touch party in MA.”

Gomez and WGBH’s Adam Reilly joined Emily Rooney on Greater Boston to discuss the platform and its implications.