- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - With Donald Trump now his party’s presumptive nominee, Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker suggested Wednesday that he might not even cast a vote for president in November.

Baker, a moderate, reiterated that he would not vote for Trump, saying there were a number of issues that he “vehemently” disagreed with the New York billionaire on.

Baker also told reporters that he “sincerely doubts” he would cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.

The governor had said previously that he did not plan to vote for Trump but also clung to the hope for a different outcome of the Republican contest. On several occasions he urged that people not jump to conclusions and wait for the nominating process to play itself out.

Baker acknowledged it was clear Trump would be the GOP nominee, with Ted Cruz leaving the race after Trump’s victory Tuesday in the Indiana primary and Ohio Gov. John Kasich announcing his departure on Wednesday. But the perceived inevitability did not alter Baker’s position.

“I’m a big tent Republican. I’ve supported a lot of different folks with a lot of different points of view,” Baker said. “But as I have said from the beginning of this race I have some concerns about Mr. Trump’s temperament and some of the things he has said about women and about Muslims and about religious freedom that I just can’t support.”

“At the same time I do believe Secretary Clinton has a huge believability problem and that makes this a very difficult election not just for me but for a lot of people,” he added.

Baker had not publicly backed any of the GOP hopefuls since briefly endorsing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie prior to the New Hampshire primary in February. Christie dropped out after that primary and endorsed Trump.

Baker left open the slim possibility that he might write-in a candidate for president or vote for someone else who might appear on the ballot, but he gave no indication as to who such a person might be. Instead, he said he planned to focus on helping down-ticket Republicans in Massachusetts races this fall.

He said he could not recall if he had ever voted for someone other than a Republican in a presidential race.

Trump won nearly 50 percent of the vote in the March 6 Massachusetts Republican primary, his biggest victory until the New York primary.

Republican Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito also said Wednesday that her position was unchanged and that she would not support Trump.



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