Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl invoked Scott Brown’s shocking Senate upset, the Red Sox’ 2004 World Series victory and the Patriots’ historic come-from-behind Super Bowl win to launch his longshot bid to unseat Bay State U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren last night.
“Let’s make history again,” Diehl told a packed crowd at the VFW in his hometown of Whitman. “Let’s win the people’s seat back like we did in 2010. Let’s win like Tom Brady and the Patriots in 2017. Like Curt Schilling and the Red Sox in 2004.”
Diehl mostly focused on his political bio, but staked out positions on some issues, calling for secure borders, an end to illegal immigration, better veterans services, respect for police and smaller taxes.
The former state co-chairman for President Trump’s campaign also attacked Warren as opportunistic and woefully out of touch with Bay Staters.
“Your U.S. senator’s job No. 1 should not be writing books while serving in office and making $1.6 million in the process,” Diehl said. “Job No. 1 should not be to hope the administration fails and with it the hopes and dreams of Americans across the country who voted for him in November. And job number one for your U.S. senator should not be to just ask for re-election after doing nothing for four years … so she can run for president in 2020.”
Diehl has a huge uphill battle. He has practically no statewide name recognition and has a campaign balance of about $260,000. Warren has more than $11?million in her campaign bank account, and raised $8.7?million in the first half of this year alone. Pundits have already begun viewing her as a potential 2020 challenger to Trump, seeing her re-election in dark blue Massachusetts as a foregone conclusion.
But those low expectations for Diehl could translate into disaster for Warren if he’s able to make the race close, or if he’s successful in drawing in national fundraising dollars and media attention.
Already, an anti-Warrensuper PAC, Deal Her Out, has been established to fight against Warren and stop any 2020 presidential aspirations in 2018 while she’s still a senator seeking re-election.
But Diehl must also first win his party’s primary.
Should he win the primary, he’ll be on the same ballot as Republican Gov. Charlie Baker — a moderate who has distanced himself from both Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
It’s unclear whether Diehl and Baker would ever campaign together or even endorse each other.
Kickoff emcee John Dennis, the former Channel 7 sports anchor and onetime WEEI sports radio host, compared Warren to the Red Sox’ David Price.
“When they were both exposed as self-serving underachievers, they did nothing but point the finger, whine and complain and blame other people but themselves,” Dennis said. “They are both failures that we don’t need or want on our team.”
In 2014, Diehl led the ballot initiative to repeal the automatic state gas tax hike.
“They laughed at us,” Diehl said. “The media all laughed at us when we said we’d do it with all volunteers, but we did it.”
Earlier yesterday, Diehl touted the backing of a Red Sox legend turned conservative firebrand.
“I just got Curt Schilling’s endorsement about an hour ago,” Diehl excitedly told Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” show. “He said he is behind me until I prove otherwise that he shouldn’t be, which I think shouldn’t be an issue. So yeah, it’s exciting, great news.”
Chris Villani contributed to this report.