Outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick Sunday threw cold water on a prospective presidential bid while shrugging off any blame for Martha Coakley’s loss to Charlie Baker.
Patrick, a Democrat, was featured on NBC’s “Meet The Press” where the show’s moderator, Chuck Todd, asked if he had thought about a White House run in the next presidential election. “I’ve thought about it, but no I can’t get ready for 2016,” said the governor.
Patrick, who did not run for re-election, batted away any suggestion that Republican Charlie Baker’s victory last month was a rejection of his two terms in the Corner Office, saying Coakley, the state’s Democratic attorney general, was significantly outspent in the race.
“I wasn’t on the ballot,” he said. “I ran against the governor elect four years ago and we had a different outcome then.” He added, “Look, I’m sorry, but the outcomes of elections depend on the candidates, not the folks on the sidelines.”
He said Democrats made a mistake by running away from the policies and accomplishments of President Barack Obama during last month’s midterm election.
That election saw the Republicans gain a majority of the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2007 and increase their majority in the House.
“I think it was a huge mistake,” he said, citing stock market returns, improvements in the unemployment rate, the implementation of universal health care and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Patrick said voters would find the narrative of inevitability that surrounds a potential presidential bid from Hillary Clinton off-putting.
“I don’t mean that as a criticism of her. I just think that people read inevitability as entitlement,” he said. “Americans want and ought to want their candidates to sweat for the job. To actually make a case for why they’re the right person at the right time.”
Patrick said he would have liked to have Darren Wilson, the white policeman who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, indicted.
A grand jury opted not to indict Wilson last week, which sparked protests and unrest both in Missouri and throughout the country.
“A trial and transparency of a trial would be good for the community,” said Patrick, who is the first black governor in the state’s history. “Especially because so many of us have the supposition that police are not going to be held accountable and not going to have to answer for the shooting of unarmed black teenagers.”