Curt on The Big Show, 9/10
Curt Schilling appeared on The Big Show on Thursday afternoon, where he answered several questions about the state of a potential candidacy, his motivations underlying his a potential run for the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat, how running as an independent would impact his candidacy and the Republican party, and some specific issues that he’d seek to influence if he runs and is elected. He also touched on the state of the union as it relates to the Red Sox’ starting rotation. A transcript follows. To listen to the complete interview, click here.
Are you running?
I don’t know. I have no idea. I’m very intrigued, for a lot of reasons. How many opportunities are you presented with in your life to change the world, to make a difference, on a global scale? That’s an awesome thing – an incredible responsibility. It’s a commitment beyond description. It’s a 365-day-a-year job. That requires a massive commitment of time and energy from not just the person running but the family, which is a lot of the discussion that would have to happen.
What have you done so far? What’s determining factor? Doing polling, seeking donors?
Sen. McCain has contacted me. I’ve received a couple different phone calls from a couple different people, expressing, doing some Q&A on whether I was interested. I know there’s some interest in running some legitimate polls to find out if it’s worth doing. I recognize that, I think, if I were to enter the race and ever if we did a half-assed job, it would have an effect, and that might not necessarily be a good thing, on who gets in.
I could be giving myself far, far too much credit, and I could walk in there and get two percent of the vote and it would be a joke. If that’s the potential, I have no interest. I have no interest whatsoever in being involved if I don’t have a legitimate chance to win.
If the data were to support that I had a chance, then I would literally get in it to win it.
Are you doing that now?
I am not doing anything. There are people that are doing some stuff. I’m not going to comment. I’m not exactly sure what the right and wrong thing is to comment on. So for the first time probably in my life, I’m not going to comment.
Looking at the field, does that influence thinking?
No, not at all. I think it’s a very personal thing. If you have to get into office due to the ineptitude and problems of other candidates – and I’m not saying that have those, but you run on your own merits – I’m just saying you run on your own merits and you run on your own platform. If you’ve got to run and rely on other people sucking at it, then don’t do it.
You have the support of McCain and the Republican party.
That doesn’t carry a lot of weight here (laughter).
You can’t run as a Republican. How do you run and raise money from the RNC?
One of the many things to consider. My understanding is that the RNC picks and chooses how they dole out their dollars. I’ve actually had some conversations with them to that effect. I’ve made it very clear, one thing that is going to happen, if I were to run, I would not run on the taxpayers’ dollars, not in this day and age, not with the economy being what it is. I could not possibly do that and legitimately stand in front of people and talk about trying to make this place a better place to live.
You would be to the right on most issues, correct?
I wouldn’t say most issues, but go ahead.
If there is a Democratic nominee, a Republican nominee, and you as an independent, is it safe to say you would drain votes from the Republican?
I think if I were to go in and go with the assumption that that was the best possible outcome, I probably wouldn’t run. If I was going to run, it would be to run and believe that I had a legitimate shot to win. If I didn’t believe that wasn’t possible, I wouldn’t do it.
You guys have known me long enough to know that the business in Maynard, 38 Studios, is the priority. Financially, that’s where I’m committed. That kind of precludes me from funding my own campaign.
Isn’t this Teddy Roosevelt draining votes from Taft?
It’s very relevant.
Any votes I quote-unquote was draining, in my mind, I would be getting to win the seat. I certainly wouldn’t be going in to play a political game or to get my candidate in office. I’d be going in to win.
I’m not going to change my comment from earlier in the week. The chances are very remote that it would happen.
I’m unbelievably flattered, beyond some of the jokes and the punch lines, that people have seriously thought or think that they would support a run at this for me. But a lot of things have to happen.
Have you moved at all closer towards running in the last week?
Honestly, it hasn’t moved in the last seven days.
You understand to some degree the life I’ve lived for the last 23 years, which was committed to the game of baseball, and how much your family has to give up. I look at this as a far bigger sacrifice for a family to make. Having said that, this is the state that I’m hopefully going to live the rest of my life in and raise my kids in. And the opportunity to effect every person living in this state is an enormously powerful thing. I think of what could be done on a state and national level as a senator for ALS and skin cancer awareness and autism, and all of the things we’ve spent our lives being involved in, and that is an incredible draw. For every plus, there’s been a minus and a neutral.
I’ve talked to a couple different people. I talked to the Governor, I’ve talked to multiple elected officials. I’m treating this like I treat the game of baseball from a preparation standpoint. I’m talking to everyone I can that has gone through the process to get a feel for the true sacrifices that need to be made, what it’s like, how your life changes, what it means to your life, and not just now but in the future.
One of the things I don’t want to do is have this be a joke. Lord knows some outlets would spin it that way, and I’ll probably throw some comments out along the way that would facilitate that. But this is a deadly serious thing. There’s never been a time in my lifetime where this country has needed people in elected office that are more hell-bent on doing right by the people.
You would ciphon more votes from Republicans than Democrats.
It depends how you believe the independent vote in this state is. There are more independents than Republicans and Democrats combined. It depends on how that body would vote.
Based on your beliefs, and the liberal nature of the state, would you have to alter any of your principles to run for office here?
There’s probably nothing I’m going to alter from a philosophical or belief standpoint. As I say this, there are issues, I’m confused by this, I believe in the right to life and all the things that go with that. But I don’t believe that any one person has the right or mandate to enforce on people. I believe the state that you live in should be directly responsible for the laws you live under in cases like that. I don’t think it’s on any one person to say, ‘You know what, the state that I live in is pro-life or pro-abortion or one’s right to choose.’ That’s a personal thing to me. It’s not something you impart on a state of people. We’ve gotten so far from that, I think, as a country, much less a state, I think people are confused.
Name three issues that matter to you where you think you could impact dialogue and legislation as a senator.
First and foremost would be stem-cell research. That’s one of the things I’ve been passionate about. It was one of the things that I obviously opposed Pres. Bush’s stance on and that I had a chance to talk to him about. I believe that medical science and research has gotten to a point where we don’t need to use embryonic and fetal stem cells to get results. That’s one of the things I’m incredibly passionate about and incredibly involved in.
I don’t know about going deeper into some issues. Obviously, one of my biggest concerns as someone who’s paid an enormous amount of taxes over my lifetime, is compensation to the police, the firemen, the education system. I believe Boston is in the upper echelon of compensation for police officers. I don’t know where we are with firemen. There are a lot of things, there’s a lot of stuff, that I have to do a lot more homework on.
But you would have to reconcile that compensation issue with the recession/economic climate – how do you solve the problem if others are getting laid off?
Here’s the one thing you and I cannot do. You and I cannot, I don’t think anybody, short of the people with their eyes on it, can honestly talk through a resolution without getting a look at the books. I am blown away by the fact that I can’t go five miles on the road without paying an enormous toll in this state. Hey – everybody pays it, it’s fine.
But it seems to me that this state should be in no way, shape or form in a deficit, and we’re in a staggeringly huge one. And I’m confused by that. I would argue that, what I want to see happen, whoever it is, is I want to make sure that the next time a $3 billion Big Dig type of event is brought to the table, that the state looks inward and decides how incredibly stupid something like that is.
If you think about what this state could have done over the last decade with $16 billion spent inward, I shudder to think what we could have done and what we could have accomplished.
You have impact and influence over all of those things sitting in a chair like that in a position like that.
Pointing the finger and blaming people isn’t going to help solve the problems we’re sitting in today.
I believe the people have lost a lot of faith if not an enormous amount of faith in the ability for elected officials to make a difference in our lives. That, to me, is probably the most heinous thing in all of this.
Is Josh Beckett back?
I thought he threw the ball really well the other night. It’s one of those nights where if we score 11 runs, nobody’s saying anything.
He was in the strike zone and outside the middle of the strike zone a lot more consistently. It was just the wrong night to give up a three-spot. I’m going to say this and I’ve said it before, I’m incredibly comfortable with Josh Beckett in Game 1 or in any game where the date starts with October. He’s proven it. I can tell you, a light switch goes on for the few people that find a way to ratchet it up in October. It’s just the way it is.
What can Daisuke do?
I don’t see it happening. One of the things he’s going to have to do is he’s going to have to be on a pitch count. If he’s coming up here on a pitch count in a month when you can ill-afford to spend your bullpen, you’re putting yourself behind the eight-ball for the next three, four, five, six games. You’re taking yourself out of a series if he’s on a 70-pitch count and he ends up going through 55 of those in 2 1/3 (innings). This has been, obviously, a hugely disappointing season for a lot of reasons that shouldn’t have happened. But I don’t think you interrupt the flow of things right now by trying to find a way to squeeze him into the rotation.
It’s that time of the year when if there’s some major changes for everybody, and Wake can’t go and you’ve got to plug Daisuke in, you could be looking at 6 innings from your bullpen.