BOSTON (CBS) — Jon Keller is working to interview all three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate ahead of the Sept. 4 primary. Geoff Diehl, Beth Lindstrom, and John Kingston are all vying to unseat Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
On Sunday, Jeff Diehl sat down with Keller. Diehl currently a state representative who is known for taking a lead role in the Donald Trump presidential campaign in Mass. and 2014 repeal of the automated gas tax increase.
“Really, Elizabeth Warren has abandoned this state, I think, the day she was elected as senator she put us in the rear-view mirror to use this as a springboard for the run for 2020 in the White House. That has left people in the fishing industry, machinists out in Holyoke and Springfield area, a lot of people across the state really feeling like she’s never been working for them,” said Diehl. He also called Warren “out of touch” with middle-class families for voting against the 2017 tax cuts.
“I’m for the businesses of Massachusetts and I have been for a long time. When we save taxpayers and businesses’ $2 billion with that gas tax, I think people know I am on their side,” said Diehl.
In regards to Trump’s tariffs, Diehl said, “This trade war has been going on for decades and the president is the first one to really address it. We’ve had a 9 percent differential for our lobstermen when they are trying to sell their catch over in the European market versus Canada. So we need to make sure that we are working for them.”
He called Trump’s trade tactics a “short-term hit for a long-term gain that we haven’t really kicked the can down the road for too long on. The other thing too is we’ve got incredible G.D.P. 4.1 percent right now, on it’s way to 5 percent growth — we never saw [that] under the Obama administration.” Diehl said this gives the country an “economic advantage” that will help the U.S. renegotiate international deals.
While Sean Spicer and Maine Gov. Paul LaPage have supported his campaign, but Diehl is not convinced that the president himself will endorse him.
“I know there is this misnomer that Republicans are just in the pocket for big businesses. To me, I think that policy that I’ve seen here in Massachusetts, like film tax credit, I don’t think that works for Massachusetts. I don’t like government giving big subsidies to certain industries. I think G.E. probably could have come to Massachusetts for reasons beyond tax incentives,” said Diehl.
And while he believes that corporations should be held accountable, Diehl finds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau redundant.
Diehl is currently the only elected official among the three Republican candidates but he also pointed out that he and his wife run a small business on the South Shore. He says his political experience is an advantage. “I’ve stood up to the insiders on Beacon Hill in my own party, against special interests, not just for the gas tax ballot question, but fighting to stop the Olympics when we knew there was going to be a $10 billion price tag for the overruns that taxpayers would have had to cover for that agreement. So I’ve been willing to stand up to both sides…and [I have] a record of lowering taxes.”
Visit Diehl’s campaign website to learn more about his stance on the issues.