Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker slammed President Donald Trump’s incendiary comments regarding the protests that have broken out across the country over the past week. The protests first ignited over George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The Republican governor said he was appalled by the president’s “bitterness, combativeness, and self-interest,” CNN reported on Monday evening.
“That’s not what we need in Boston, it’s not what we need right now in Massachusetts and it’s definitely not what we need across this great country of ours either,” he said.
According to The Hill, Baker’s pointed remarks toward the president also seemed to take aim at his handling of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has repeatedly encouraged government officials to take forceful action against violent protesters. In response to Trump’s remarks, Baker said that he was no longer surprised by the president’s consistently inflammatory comments.
“At so many times during these past several weeks when the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it was simply nowhere to be found.”
CNN stated that the president called on state leaders to start arresting people, or they will look like “a bunch of jerks” on an audio recording.
Baker countered Trump’s assertions by stating that the peaceful protests made in Floyd’s name and against police brutality have created a “powerful statement.”
He also added that Floyd’s death was a “horrible tragedy — one of countless tragedies to befall people of color across the United States. The vast majority of protesters today did so peacefully, toward a common goal of promoting justice and equality.”
The Massachusetts governor said he was grateful toward the individuals who were intent on spreading the message through peaceful means. He further extended his gratitude to the first responders and authorities who aimed to protect individuals involved in the protest.
Like Trump, Baker also condemned anyone that was lashing out violently and contributing to the destruction of property. The governor said that anyone participating in looting or other unlawful acts was detracting from the overall statement made by thousands from his state and others across the country.
Baker is far from the only political leader to criticize the president’s recent actions.
The Hill reported that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the comments he made on the call should concern all Americans. Whitmer alleged that the Trump administration is intentionally trying to sow discord throughout the nation.
Senator Ed Markey reportedly called Trump “scum” for adding fuel to the fire.
— Brad Tatum (@BradTatum) June 1, 2020