BOSTON — Critiqued by his Republican opponent as a symbol of the dysfunctional Washington D.C. establishment, Congressman Ed Markey enjoyed the backing of the nation’s top Democrat yesterday as President Barack Obama rallied for his election to the U.S. Senate.
Obama steered clear of direct attacks on Markey's opponent Gabriel Gomez, critiquing Republicans generally and bolstering Markey before jetting to Miami aboard Air Force One.
“Ed’s one of you,” Obama said. “Think about Ed’s history. Grew up just three miles from here, in Malden; son of a milk truck driver.”
Markey would work with the president to challenge climate change, Obama said, after noting that the Republican-controlled House has voted nearly 40 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act — repeal efforts that have stalled out in the Senate.
“That’s not a productive thing to do, people,” Obama said. He said efforts would be better spent telling people without insurance that they will soon be eligible under the federal health insurance program.
Gomez, a former Navy SEAL who has previously supported Obama, wrote the president an open letter, inviting him to a veterans town hall event in Chelsea yesterday afternoon, and pledged to be a voice of bipartisanship in Washington.
“[S]hould I be fortunate enough to be elected as the next Senator from Massachusetts, I look forward to working with you to represent all the people of Massachusetts,” Gomez wrote. “Where we disagree, I will reach across the aisle and work to find common ground with you, and with my fellow members of Congress.”
Casting himself as a fresh alternative, Gomez has said Markey’s tenure in Congress dating back to 1976 is an argument for term limits, and pinned blame for the deficit’s subsequent growth on Markey.
Markey, who has harkened to the early 20th century presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a key point that benefitted his working-class family, has dismissed Gomez as nothing new.