EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 21, 2013

McCain calls Senate candidate Gomez 'next generation' of GOP leadership

BOSTON — U.S. Sen. John McCain visited Boston yesterday to stump and fundraise for fellow Navy veteran and Republican Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez, who ramped up his attacks on opponent U.S. Rep. Edward Markey for voting against resolutions in Congress honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Appearing at a Dorchester VFW post before headlining a downtown Boston fundraising lunch, McCain called Gomez “the next generation of leadership in this country” and said Gomez could be counted on to support comprehensive immigration reform and to help end the pattern of sexual abuse in the military.

The appearance by McCain gave the Massachusetts Democratic Party an opening to link Gomez to the national Republican Party, a prevalent campaign tactic for candidates running in the heavily Democrat-leaning state.

Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, told the few dozen supporters assembled at the Boston Police VFW Post 1018 that it was an “honor” to welcome McCain to Boston, before criticizing Markey for voting against the resolutions in Congress in 2004 and 2006.

“To me, it’s just unconscionable to have voted against something like that,” Gomez said.

Gomez also critiqued Markey for voting for the Patriot Act in 2001, but later voting against reauthorizations of the bill that granted expanded investigatory powers for homeland security.

“I’m sure he’s going to have some slick lawyerly explanation to try to explain votes on these matters but the bottom line is he didn’t do a single thing to make sure that we were safer as a country,” Gomez said.

Markey’s campaign called Gomez’s line of attack “despicable” and misleading, suggesting the criticisms have been “widely discredited in the past, and denounced by Democrats, Republicans and families of 9/11 victims who deserve better than for their memories to be exploited for partisan political gain.”

Markey was one of 16 representatives to vote against the 2004 resolutions, and one of 22 to vote against the 2006 resolution.

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