If you recorded Maddow tonight, you saw this story. Republican candidate for Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker brought on the waterworks (tears) in a debate on Tuesday. It’s not really being questioned whether or not the tears were genuine. It doesn’t matter. Why is that? Because the entire story appears to have been a fabrication, or at the very best, a huge stretch. Massachusetts
Baker was asked “when was the last time you cried.” He became emotional and related a tale of a fisherman he encountered “over the course of the campaign.” He said that the man was from New Bedford and had two sons — both had been high school football stars — who received scholarships. From the Boston Globe:
A father, who also happened to be a fisherman ?soaked in sweat and salt water,? prevented his sons from taking college scholarships because he wanted them to become fishermen, too.
?I ruined their lives,? said Baker, quoting the father, as the candidate emotionally recounted the anecdote during Tuesday’s debate.
The backstory on this emotional story is the federal regulations that are objectionable to the commercial fishing industry.
Everyone was excited by this story and wanted to find the fisherman. From the Globe:
The powerful tale of a proud industry’s unraveling and a father’s stifling love reduced Baker to near tears. By Wednesday morning, New Bedford was buzzing: Who was the whale of a man in the story, whose embrace Baker described as ?like hugging a mountain??
From the docks to the mayor’s office, across the Acushnet River in Fairhaven and out in Mattapoisett, a hunt worthy of Ahab himself was on.
Unfortunately for Baker, townspeople in New Bedford have never heard of a fisherman with two football star sons who turned down scholarships. From MassPoliticalNews:
?No one comes to mind that I can think of,? said Jim Kendall, president of New Bedford Seafood Consulting. ?I’ve gotten several calls on this, texts and emails, too. ? I’ve checked around, and no one seems to be able to put a finger on who it would be.?
A befuddled Kendall has been?working in the fishing industry for 51 years and is certain he’d know if there were such a story.
?I’ve been running several fishery groups in the city, that’s all I do,? he said. ?I would think I have a pretty good grip, if not knowing the individual, knowing who to reach out to, and so far I’ve been unsuccessful.”
Richie Canastra?is?co-owner of Whaling City Seafood Display Auction. He also has no clue who Baker could have been talking about.
?I just don’t recall that,? Canastra said. ?Right now, we’re down to about 36 vessels we unload in New Bedford; there used to be close to 200. I don’t know of who the person would be.? He added??I don’t know all the fishermen.
And then there’s Anne?Jardin-Maynard of Dawson Boat Settlements in New Bedford. From MassPoliticalNews:
?I don’t know who it could be,? she said, saying she only knows one fishermen whose sons played football at all and that they live on Cape Cod. Baker discussed a fisherman who he said had two sons who attended New Bedford High School.
Furthermore, a source with a long association with the New Bedford High School athletic department said that he doesn’t know of any two brothers who received scholarships that they had to decline.
As for Mr. Baker and his campaign? They’re now saying that Baker encountered the fisherman in 2009 but Baker insists, “it’s like it happened five minutes ago to me.” And now they’re saying that the unfortunate fisherman may not have even been from New Bedford, but at any rate, as Baker also said:
“Well, he certainly existed for me…”
Let me make this easy for you, Charlie Baker. The dude doesn’t exist! Stop your lying, your crocodile tears, and just go ahead and lose this race.
Here’s the video:
Tiffany Willis is a fifth-generation Texan and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she has spent most of her career actively working with ?the least of these? and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. She’s passionate about their struggles. To stay on top of topics she discusses,?like her?Facebook page,?follow her on Twitter, or?connect with her via LinkedIn. She also has?a?grossly neglected personal blog?and a?literary quotes blog that is a labor of love. Find her somewhere and join the discussion.