On November 6, Massachusetts State Rep. Geoff Diehl will challenge Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her Senate seat.
The 49-year-old Eagle Scout who was the co-chair for President Donald Trump’s campaign in Massachusetts says he's the only elected Republican in the state to endorse Trump. Even the Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, a Republican deemed the most popular governor in the country, did not endorse Trump. In 2016, Trump gained 32.8% of the popular vote in Massachusetts.
In an interview with The Daily Wire, Diehl explains how he plans to defeat Warren.
Diehl is from Whitman, Massachusetts, and graduated from Lehigh University. In 2010, he won a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. During his time in the state house, he successfully led the repeal of a gas tax through a ballot initiative and fought against a proposal to host the Olympics in Boston that he believed would have cost taxpayers millions.
Diehl also believes his time as an Eagle Scout helped prepare him for politics. “One of the lessons that you learn, leave the campground better than you found it, and it is a philosophy that I have taken through life with me.”
He describes himself as an anti-establishment candidate because he isn’t a politician and didn’t know much about politics until he ran for his state representative seat. He joined the finance committee in his community and said once he learned that his state representative was cutting back their funding and police training, he read two books about politics and decided to run.
“I was never involved in politics before I ran for office in 2010,” he said. “I knocked on a bunch of doors in three towns and got myself elected.”
Diehl also believes in term limits and pledged to only serve four terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and if he wins, two terms in the Senate.
The foundation of Diehl's campaign, he said, focuses on “putting money back in people’s pockets,” preventing illegal immigration and securing our border, and promoting economic growth through small businesses.
Diehl thinks he has a chance of defeating Warren, even though Massachusetts is a very liberal state. “Well we already know from history that the Republican base is going to come out,” he said. “It’s the 55% of unenrolled [voters] in the state that are going to determine this. Plus, there are a lot of conservative Democrats that I think also feel that Elizabeth Warren has pulled the state too far to the left.”
Diehl explained that many Massachusetts Democratic candidates are far-left, which he said many Democrats see as a problem. “I think Elizabeth Warren is recognized as the leader of that far-left progressive movement that doesn’t really care about trying to work anybody in Congress to deliver for the state of Massachusetts,” he said. “They just want to push this big government philosophy and raise taxes.”
“20,000 Democrats unenrolled to vote in the Republican primary in 2016,” he added.
“Trump got roughly 1,090,000 in the general election. So even though he didn’t win the state, on paper that’s actually more than Charlie Baker got when he was elected [in 2014] as governor to Massachusetts.”
Diehl also believes that certain communities in Massachusetts could sway the election the same way specific states helped ensure Trump’s victory. “Massachusetts has its own rust belt, outside the 495 beltway, that kind of mimics Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan," he said, referring to key states Trump won in 2016.
He said he keeps the White House updated on the race and has prominent Trump supporters endorse him and come to his events, including former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Maine Governor Paul LePage, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Diehl believes that Warren is using Massachusetts as “a springboard” to eventually run for president.
“There are a lot of people out there that felt like Beacon Hill has been leaving them behind, that Washington, D.C. has been leaving them behind and that Elizabeth Warren clearly doesn’t have their best interest at heart when she is more focused on running for the White House,” Diehl said. “Those are the people that are looking for someone to serve down in Washington and stop the gridlock and just focus on the state of Massachusetts.”
“I’m committed to six years of working as hard as I can for the people of this state, whereas she won’t even sign a pledge saying she’ll serve the full six years,” Diehl said in a reference to Warren’s interview on "Meet The Press" in which she refused to answer several times after being asked if she would serve the full six-year term.
Diehl also pointed to Warren’s extensive recent travel as a signal that she will run for president in 2020. He claims “she is clearly trying to appeal to a wider audience than Massachusetts and she is trying to take the mantle of the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democrat party in the process.”
Unlike other Democrats from Massachusetts who have served, Diehl says that Warren does not believe in bipartisanship. “[Former Sen. Ted Kennedy] was willing to work with Republicans to deliver for the state of Massachusetts,” Diehl said. “That’s the tradition of Democrats in the state; they actually try to be reasonable, but with Elizabeth Warren, there is no accountability at all for the votes she takes.”
After Diehl won the Republican primary with 55.3%, he was notified that Warren would be willing to participate in three debates against him.
“Normally it is the incumbent that tries to keep a challenger from getting that type of exposure,” he said. “I think she must be seeing the polling that we’ve been seeing for a while, which is that she’s got 98% name recognition according to polls that we have and yet her favorability is upside down and I am leading with Independents right now.”
Diehl noted that some polls show that he is leading with a 17% gap among Independents. “If she is seeing similar numbers, that must be why she is willing to — or why she feels she needs to — correct the course because as it stands right now she is pretty well-known in Massachusetts for not working for us," he said, "and I think that is turning a lot of people off.”
Diehl said he plans on confronting Warren about her use of divisive rhetoric, like when she called the criminal justice system “racist from front to back,” called any money that would be saved from the GOP health care bill “blood money,” and even called for the abolition of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).
“That’s the kind of divisive rhetoric that gets people upset,” he said.
He also said he plans to ask Warren “what’s she’s actually done for Massachusetts because there is no accomplishment she can point to that indicated that she spent six years as our senator other than the fact that she is wealthier than she first went into office, she’s written two books about herself, and she has been doing everything she can to promote herself as the next candidate for president.”
“We have plenty of people that come here and get elected to office and then want to run for the White House. None of them seem too committed to actually working for the people who elected them,” he added.