Capuano: Experience matters

In front of a crowd of 100 or so supporters at the Machinist Union on the corner of Saratoga and Addison Streets in East Boston, U.S. Congressman and Senate candidate Michael Capuano said you don’t want him, but a qualified machinist, working on jet engines at Logan Airport so why would voters want to send an unqualified candidate to Washington D.C. to represent Massachusetts.

“Sure everyone in the race is a nice person with good intentions but there’s too much at stake to send someone with no experience to Washington,” said Capuano. “If one of my opponents is elected there are 99 other senators waiting to eat their lunch.”

In a speech peppered with his experience on Capitol Hill and his opponent’s possible inability to correctly navigate the corridors of the U.S. Senate, Capuano said there are millions and millions of Massachusetts dollars at risk if voters send the wrong person into the job.

“You are my supporters so you know how I operate,” said Capuano. “I don’t back down, I fight and I’m the only candidate that has been fighting for our state since being elected to Congress in 1999.”

On Health Care reform, Capuano defended his stance on being a true pragmatist when it comes to this important legislation.

“If everyone in this room wanted to put together a bill we would not all agree on all its aspects,” said Capuano. “So why should I just sign off on a bill because it says ‘health reform’. Well, that’s what some people in the race want to do. I voted in favor of the bill in the House but I still have concerns. I’m going to continue to question and study and be vocal and that’s the type of person we need in the Senate.”

Capuano also touched upon media reports that his rough-around-the-edges blue collar Somerville persona comes off as ‘angry’.

“Some might say I appear ‘angry’ or ask me ‘Mike, are you angry’ and I say, “You are damn right I’m angry,” said Capuano to a round of applause. “I’m angry because people can’t find jobs, can’t stay in the homes they worked so hard to buy, can’t find affordable health care or can’t get a quality education for their children. So am I angry about this stuff? No, I’m pissed off!”

Capuano said it’s this passion that has kept him going and fighting for residents of Massachusetts.

“So if I’m mad do I sit on the couch with a defeatist attitude? No, I roll up my sleeves and get into the fight,” said Capuano. “And that’s the type of Senator this state and the country needs.”

Capuano was recently endorsed by the Massachusetts State Council of Machinists, which represents 3,000 members in Eastie and the state. Protecting members’ right to fair working conditions, pay, equality, safety and training are among the Council’s main priorities and why they endorsed Capuano.

Citing Congressman Capuano’s “commitment to issues that affect all working men and women,” President James Connor offered Capuano the Council’s emphatic endorsement.

“It is our opinion that you are the most qualified to carry on Ted Kennedy’s mission to better the lives of the working men and women of the Commonwealth and the nation,” said Connor.

“I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from working families and I will continue to fight for progress on the issues that will improve their lives, such as affordable health care and a fair wage,” said Capuano. “Your fight is mine.”

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