TAK­ING SWINGS

Lind­strom disses Se­nate com­pe­ti­tion

Boston Herald - - NEWS -

In the first real clash of the Repub­li­can Se­nate race, for­mer party chief Beth Lind­strom took jabs at her GOP op­po­nents, la­bel­ing busi­ness­man John Kingston a “white, rich male” and Rep. Ge­off Diehl a “ca­reer politi­cian” who can’t de­feat Demo­crat El­iz­a­beth War­ren.

Lind­strom, ap­pear­ing on “Bat­ten­feld” on Bos­ton Her­ald Ra­dio yes­ter­day, also took shots at War­ren, say­ing she was rep­re­sent­ing her “fol­low­ers on Twit­ter” and her “pres­i­den­tial as­pi­ra­tions” in­stead of her con­stituents.

But it was Lind­strom’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of Kingston, a wealthy Winch­ester busi­ness­man, that set off the first fire­works of the pri­mary cam­paign.

“Do we need an­other white, rich male to run against El­iz­a­beth War­ren?” she asked.

Lind­strom also said Diehl, a co-chair­man of Pres­i­dent Trump’s Mas­sachusetts cam­paign, would be hurt be­cause of his close af­fil­i­a­tion with the pres­i­dent.

“That’s why I don’t think he can win,” she said. “He can­not go up against that be­cause his brand is that.”

Lind­strom’s com­ments drew im­me­di­ate re­turn fire from her GOP ri­vals.

“It’s no sur­prise that a can­di­date who’s failed to gain any trac­tion for the GOP nom­i­na­tion would take petty pot shots at the only Repub­li­can who has clearly demon­strated he has the record, re­sources and mes­sage re­quired to de­feat Sen. War­ren in Novem­ber,” Kingston spokesman Jon Con­radi said. “Vot­ers may find it con­fus­ing that Lind­strom claims to op­pose the di­vi­sive iden­tity pol­i­tics and class war­fare ped­dled by Sen. War­ren but then tries to use that same rhetoric against her fel­low Repub­li­can to score a quick po­lit­i­cal point.”

Diehl’s cam­paign also quickly re­sponded, not­ing that Diehl has only been in the Leg­is­la­ture seven years and like Lind­strom, owns a small busi­ness.

“This would not be the first time the for­mer po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tant Lind­strom has tried to mis­lead vot­ers,” Diehl spokes­woman Holly Ro­bichaud said. “Ge­off Diehl has de­liv­ered the only tax cut Mas­sachusetts vot­ers had in seven years, which po­si­tions him uniquely against War­ren, who has failed to de­liver for Mas­sachusetts.”

But Lind­strom aimed her tough­est crit­i­cism at Kingston, who helped fund a third-party can­di­date in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial race and at­tacked then-can­di­date Don­ald Trump.

The for­mer con­sumer af­fairs sec­re­tary, who now owns a small busi­ness, said GOP vot­ers would be un­likely to em­brace Kingston be­cause of his past op­po­si­tion to Trump.

“If that third-party can­di­date had any trac­tion then we would not have Pres­i­dent Trump to­day, it would be Hil­lary Clin­ton,” she said. “If we’re in a Repub­li­can pri­mary, I think that’s a hard thing to swal­low.”

Lind­strom also said she would be able to ap­peal to fe­male vot­ers, not­ing that War­ren won her 2012 elec­tion bid by trounc­ing Repub­li­can Scott Brown among women.

“I just hap­pen to be fe­male. That’s a bonus,” she said. “I have a re­sume but if that data mat­ters then that’s why I would be a bet­ter can­di­date than the other two op­po­nents.”

STAFF FILE PHO­TOS, TOP, BY MATT STONE, ABOVE LEFT, BY AN­GELA ROWLINGS; COUR­TESY PHOTO, ABOVE RIGHT

‘I JUST HAP­PEN TO BE FE­MALE’: Se­nate hope­ful Beth Lind­strom, top, jabs at her op­po­nents, Rep. Ge­off Diehl, above left, and busi­ness­man John Kingston, above right, on Her­ald Ra­dio yes­ter­day.

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