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Curt on The Big Show, 9/10

September 10, 2009

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.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. blue dog permalink
    September 11, 2009 12:22 am

    Omigosh Curt, you’re having people looking into the possibility of you running, doing stuff you won’t comment on? That sounds so…”strategic” and calculated and marionette-like on your part. I thought about two or three threads back you were Mr. Clean/no baggage guy, opposed to politics as usual and fundamentally opposed to the cynical process of political strategizing popularized by Denny Hastert and his ilk that is so rampant in Washington? Are these “people” pulling your strings or letting you pull their purse strings? Hey well, you could always take their 8 or 10 million in seed money and then bow out without throwing an inning for ’em. That’s politics…!

  2. Bill permalink
    September 11, 2009 10:31 am

    Curt, what are your plans for the country as President of the United States after your 6 year term in Senate is up?

  3. peskyfan permalink
    September 11, 2009 11:50 am

    One thing you don’t seem to realize is that the US Senators from a state have nothing to do with governing the state and managing its budget.

  4. Robert Birch permalink
    September 11, 2009 1:24 pm

    “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.”

    What do you mean?

  5. September 11, 2009 3:51 pm

    Curt,

    Happy to volunteer on the campaign should you choose to run.

    Regards,
    Ric Weeks

  6. September 11, 2009 6:05 pm

    Mr Schilling,

    If you are really serious about addressing a local issue and taking a stance on something that effects both Boston residents and Massachusetts commuters, you should consider the campaign to close the tolls. They are running a ballot initiative to to close the tolls in Massachusetts. Please check out the issue; it could be a jumping-off point for you politically. Go to closethetolls.org, and feel free to email me about getting involved. Eric@closethetolls.org

  7. mike permalink
    September 11, 2009 6:21 pm

    Curt,

    First, I want to thank you for all you did for the Red Sox in 2004. By way of the excellence of your play on the field and your personal strength you played a huge part in lifting the curse on a franchise i had followed (in frustration) since their loss in the 67 series. Your ‘bloody sock’ performance remains, for me, perhaps the greatest moment in Boston sports history.
    Having said that, I implore you not to run. You are a hero in this town. If you throw your hat in the poisioned well that contemporary politics has become, many, myself included, may no longer see you as a hero but instead ‘just another right wing Republican’ Please dont do it!

  8. Eric permalink
    September 11, 2009 7:45 pm

    I’m beginning to see what people say about this guy… you’re all over the map Curt, FOCUS!
    Here are some Senate issues:

    Bank Bailout
    Cap and Trade
    Bush Tax cuts
    Fed Chairman

    and some bigger issues:
    Collapse of middle class
    Collapse of living standards for makers as opposed to dealers

    You can speak to these things, even if you don’t win. We need your help!

  9. Goodrich permalink
    September 12, 2009 12:05 pm

    You are no doubt giving yourself too much credit. No one who actually cares about politics and Boston would vote a baseball player into office. Seriously, this has got to be one of the worst ideas ever. We already know you do not stick to one side, because of how you swayed between steriod users. You just should stick to linking articles about politics. Ridiculous. This man did not even attend a 4-year school, let alone get a degree. He has no idea. It does not bode well either for Boston, givin how many people on this blog support this idea.

  10. Judy permalink
    September 13, 2009 2:09 pm

    Curt – You rock! Run for the Senate and rock their world. We need people like you looking out for us.

  11. September 14, 2009 1:53 pm

    RUN Curt!

    One of the things you can surface…Why is it, that ONE occupation, controls all three branches of government??(attorneys)
    That reality, is in and by itself, a very unhealthy state of affairs.
    Good Luck.

  12. Dan permalink
    September 15, 2009 7:40 am

    Curt, stand firm on “pro-life”. It isn’t about “. . . any one person has the right or mandate to enforce on people.” It’s about the lawmakers protecting the weak and innocent in our society. Lawmakers don’t allow parents to kill their 2 year old child, and shouldn’t allow parents to legally kill their unborn child. This is more worthy of a cause than “mandating” stem cell research on a people using tax dollars. It would also save far more lives. If we have a moral obligation based on Truth, let’s not hide behind a fear of imposing our position.

    Keep up the good fight and I love reading your blog.

  13. Matt permalink
    September 15, 2009 1:30 pm

    The key to your argument is right there – “unborn” child. Do you really think abortion would end if it were outlawed? Women have the right to a choice, whether you agree with it or not.

  14. Pete permalink
    September 15, 2009 7:30 pm

    Curt,

    I like mike’s reference above to the poisoned well. But I have a different take on it! Do we bewail the fact that the well is poisoned and eventually die of thirst or do we get down in there with disinfectant and clean and scrub it up real good. ( I’ve got a well in my 1860 farmhouse in Maine) Our political system NEEDS a hero just like you to do some cleaning. . . perhaps the independent angle will carry the day!

    Brother, I’ll be praying God’s will (and wisdom and protection) will be on you!

  15. Mat permalink
    September 16, 2009 3:31 pm

    Unborn yet a child just the same! When a criminal kills a woman who is pregnant it is classified as a double MURDER! When an abortion is conducted it is not MURDER? It is either one or the other. I am not defending the criminal but lets get this straight. A life is a life, PERIOD! From the point of conception that child is a person. Throughout the stages of development the fetis is alive! With the advance of science if there are complications with the pregnancy and the baby is an early term baby the medical profession can save the LIFE! Unborn is just a shield that people use to hide behind and not accept the responsibility of having a child. This country/society will say the Hitler MURDERED 6 million or so Jews. This country has allowed many more MURDERS to occur and nobody seems to pay attention to that. Each child born is a true miracle! A gift from God. If you are a parent you would realize the process and come to appreciate this fact. Since abortion has been legalized our society has continued its downward track. It will continue to deteriorate as long as our stance on life is so DISPOSABLE! This country was at one time the GREATEST in the modern WORLD. We are no longer the GREATEST for this reason as many others that have to do with our values and how we percieve human life. Go speak with a woman who had a healthy child and went and had an abortion and see how she feels about it. I’ll bet you will be very surprised at her answer.

  16. Jeff permalink
    September 17, 2009 1:57 pm

    Curt, I hope you decide to run. It would be amazing for our state to have a voice on the national level that is not a typical politician. We need someone who will make decisions based on what he believes is best for the state not what is best for him to get reelected.

  17. Chris permalink
    September 18, 2009 3:34 am

    Curt, I understand your position that states should decide issues such as abortion and gay marriage, but it’s important to at least acknowledge that the federal government plays an important role in deciding state’s abilities to decide these issues.

    Gay marriage is an issue currently being decided by the states, and as a senator serving in the federal government you wouldn’t have a legislative roll in deciding if gay marriage continues to be legal in Mass. That having been said as one of the state’s two senators it’s not like you wouldn’t have voice in Mass gay marriage debate. Most senators, including Sen McCain, were extremely active in their state’s ballot proposals to ban gay marriage.

    More importantly though, as senator you would have a voice/vote on the future of issues like the Defense of Marriage Act, which is very much in question right now. I’m assuming Shondra and you weren’t married in Mass, but the state recognizes and legally treats you as being married. If DOMA is repealed, a gay couple living in Virginia (where gay marriage is not permitted) could come to Mass to get married and Virginia would be forced to recognize that marriage the same way Mass recognizes your marriage. Also there was an amendment proposed in Washington, supported by Pres Bush and opposed by Sen McCain, to ban gay marriage on a federal level, which would nullify gay marriages in states like Mass. Based on you state’s rights stance, can we assume you’d vote to uphold DOMA and against a federal marriage amendment?

    Your stance on abortion though is the one that really confuses me. The future of abortion issue largely lies in the Supreme Court. You’d be one of a 100 senators deciding if the President’s pick for a Supreme Court Justice gets the job. Have you ever seen these confirmation hearings? Roe v. Wade is often topic #1. Considering that we have 5 justices over the age of 80, it’s highly likely you would be one of 100 Americans, beside the President obviously, deciding if we have a pro-life or pro-choice Supreme Court. If Sen McCain had won last November he was very clear he’d pick pro-life justices and that he’d want Roe v Wade overturned. You were a big supporter of Sen McCain, would you have voted for his judicial nominees? Would you vote to confirm President Obama’s pro-choice nominees? Or would your pro-life stance not come into play in deciding who sits on the bench? It’s also possible the Court in the coming years will decide to uphold a state like North Dakota’s right to ban abortions preformed there.

    I agree with the other poster who said your stance on the big issues like Cap & Trade are far more relevant to your candidacy. I’m only focused on abortion and gay marriage because those were two issues you volunteered your stance (pro-life, against gay marriage), but it’s problematic that you qualified those two stances to the point it’s unclear how you’d vote on those two issues in the Senate.

    Good luck to you and your family in making your decision making process. I have to imagine the enormous opportunity vs. the enormous commitment makes it a very difficult one. I’d love to see you run if for no other reason than your candidacy might result in a real race after the Dem primary. I’m not a fan of these Senate or House seats being automatic R or D seats. This isn’t a knock on Sen Kennedy, who worked tirelessly for the state, but four decades of one of our two senate seats being decided without a competitive race isn’t healthy for the democracy. Senator Kerry is a better senator for having had to really fight to win his seat. More importantly the Dem nominee to replace Sen Kennedy will be a first time senator, and it’s important he or she is forced to run a vigorous campaign and spell out where he or she stands on the overwhelming issues we face.

  18. Elizabeth permalink
    September 22, 2009 5:09 pm

    Please run!!! The country NEEDS you as much as we needed you in Soxnation.

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