BOSTON -- When he began his campaign for governor, Setti Warren was probably hoping that the first few days would go better than the botched launch of his failed 2011 run for US Senate. But after a few head-scratching and downright hypocritical statements during his media tour today, it's clear that Warren still has a long way to go before he's ready for prime time.
"From confusing statements about whether he'll raise taxes on working people, to tone-deaf comments that reveal his political opportunism, Setti Warren is proving that he's simply not ready to run a serious campaign that offers real leadership for Massachusetts." -MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes
Warren Decries "Regressive" Taxes While Backing The Soda Tax In The Same Breath
Warren continues to prove that the Democrat gubernatorial primary will be a battle to prove which candidate is the most enthusiastic about raising taxes. In his rush to embrace a more extreme tax position than his rivals, Warren quickly endorsed Beacon Hill Democrats' soda tax proposal:
HOST: "What about this new proposal that's being talked about on Beacon Hill to tax soda and sugary drinks?
WARREN: "I would absolutely be in favor and open to it..." ("Setti Warren 05-22-2017," Boston Herald Radio, 5/22/17 | AUDIO at 12:30)
In the same breath, though, Warren promised that he would not propose any "regressive" taxes.
WARREN: "We've got to look at all sources of revenue but I also want to make sure that any tax we propose is not regressive" ("Setti Warren 05-22-2017," Boston Herald Radio, 5/22/17 | AUDIO at 12:30)
Perhaps someone should remind Warren that the soda tax proposal is so regressive that Bernie Sanders is opposed to it. "'Making sure that every family has high-quality, affordable preschool and child care is a vision that I strongly share,' Mr. Sanders said, in a written statement. 'On the other hand, I do not support paying for this proposal through a regressive tax on soda that will significantly increase taxes on low-income and middle-class Americans. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it should be the people on top who see an increase in their taxes, not low-income and working people.' Over the weekend, Mr. Sanders continued to express opposition to the tax, at campaign events and on Meet the Press." (Margot Sanger-Katz, "A New Policy Disagreement Between Clinton and Sanders: Soda Taxes," The New York Times, 4/22/16)
Warren Made Crystal Clear He'd Consider Another Gas Tax Hike, After Voters Rejected An Increase In 2014
Despite the fact that voters rejected a gas tax hike in 2014, Warren placed the possibility of an increase firmly on the table.
HOST: "Do you think that there is an appetite to add a gas tax to help pay for these crumbling roads and bridges?
WARREN: "I know that there are some cities and towns that have tried to do it. I know that when we think about taxes and revenue, we've got to be open to all possibilities..." ("Setti Warren 05-22-2017," Boston Herald Radio, 5/22/17 | AUDIO at 25:00)
Tone-Deaf Warren Responds With Laughter, Self-Congratulations About National Coverage In Response To A Question About Grassroots Cred
When a host questioned Warren's grassroots credibility given that he previewed his campaign with a mention in the New York Times, Warren laughed and said "it was great that they decided to cover me."
HOST: "If that's the case, though, why lead up to your announcement with the New York Times? That seems like the opposite of grassroots. That's like, national.
WARREN: "Well I was pleased that the New York Times was interested in talking to me [laughs]...It was great that they decided to cover me..." ("Setti Warren 05-22-2017," Boston Herald Radio, 5/22/17 | AUDIO at 6:45)