McMahon grilled on politics, says voters concerned with crime, economy

Facing a barrage of questions about former President Donald Trump and national political issues like abortion immigration and the 2020 election, Republican candidate for AG Jay McMahon said his focus, and what he hears people say they are interested in, are crime and the economy.

“I am a Republican, and when I talk to the people, the issues that they are concerned with is crime in the streets, fentanyl that’s falling into our neighborhoods, the opioid epidemic, and just plain public safety and gang-related violence in their neighborhoods,” McMahon said Sunday when asked if he was a “Trump” Republican.

The Cape Cod attorney and AG candidate made an appearance on WCVB’s “On the Record,” where the hosts wasted no time challenging the attorney on his platform vis-a-vis that of both his party and its presumptive leader, former President Trump.

McMahon began by saying the law enforcement issues he listed are what concern the residents he spoke with around the state, before spending the next several minutes trying and failing to move the conversation away from national politics

“Those are the things they’re concerned with and those are the things I’ve been talking about,” he said. “The people I’m talking to are not talking about Trump, they’re talking about the economy. They’re talking about crimes in the streets.”

McMahon, in November, will face former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell in a contest to determine who will take on Attorney General Maura Healey’s role as the state’s top law enforcement officer. Campbell leads him in both name recognition and funding after a lengthy three-way Democratic primary and her previous run as a candidate for mayor in Boston.

The attorney general’s role itself was referenced several times as the reason behind the questions McMahon was asked, with the hosts noting he may be required to enforce some laws he disagrees with when he tried to sidestep association with Republican party policies on abortion, immigration, and the 2020 election.

McMahon said President Biden was sworn in as the 46th president, acknowledged that the various secretaries of state had certified their results and didn’t parrot party talk about voter fraud, but the second-time candidate for attorney general would not say directly that Biden was duly elected.

“Well the only doubts that I hear (about the election) have nothing to do with the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” he said.

He also said he felt for the nearly 50 migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and that the Republican governor should have notified officials on the island before sending people there, but wouldn’t say whether sending the asylum seekers there was the right or wrong thing to do. He did note border communities are not warned before migrants arrive.

McMahon said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 law which legalized abortion nationally, was the right one, though he claimed it had changed nothing in Massachusetts. He would not say whether he would support or oppose a national 15-week ban.

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