Congressman Mike Capuano came to Brothers’ Deli in Lynn Sunday morning for an “Open Mike” conversation, an event that was held in conjunction with his campaign for the United States Senate.
The Open Mike events are being held to offer Capuano a chance to speak directly with voters and learn more about the issues that most concern them.
Despite the torrential downpour outside, a large gathering attended the event for Capuano, who is seeking the Senate seat previously held by the late Edward M. Kennedy.
At the outset of the speaking program at Sunday’s event, Congressman John Tierney formally announced his endorsement of support for Capuano’s campaign for Senate. Lynn Mayor Thomas Costin had introduced Tierney.
“Mike Capuano has been a friend and a colleague of mine for years,” said Tierney. “He is exactly the type of individual that we need to fight for us in the United States Senate. Having been the mayor of Somerville, he understands what happens in Lynn and the other communities in my district. He knows that education is opportunity for all of our children and he knows that we have to work to make sure that everybody has the best educational opportunity.
“He understands the importance of health care – that every family ought to have health care and that it ought to be accessible and affordable and high quality,” said Tierney. “And he also understands the most fundamental thing in the economy, like the one we’re experiencing today, is jobs, jobs, jobs. We have some very critical and important issues and we need somebody who is prepared and ready to go and has a firm commitment to our values and that is Michael Capuano.”
Speaking without the aid of a microphone in the middle of the restaurant’s dining room, Capuano began his remarks by thanking Tierney for his strong endorsement of his candidacy for Senate. Capuano also noted the presence of Costin, saying, “it was a deeply moving thing” to have the former mayor in attendance and offering his support.
Capuano pledged his support for additional transportation service to Lynn.
“I believe that commuter rails and subways are the future of this state and I will tell you unequivocally that in the Senate, we’ll get a Blue Line as quickly as we possibly can,” said Capuano. “It is an incredibly good project and an incredibly worthwhile project on a dollar basis, an environmental basis, a transportation basis – no matter how you vision it. We’ll just keep pushing for it until we get it.”
Capuano told the gathering his reasons for running for the Senate.
“If you have an opportunity to actually have an influence on the issues you claim to care about, I think you have an obligation to try,” said Capuano. “All my life, I’ve been told by the pundits and the big shots, ‘you can’t do this’ – but I’ve always thought of myself as an underdog. It’s not what I am inside, but it’s the way the world looks at people like me and that’s always been my driving force.”
The six-term congressman, who represents the Eighth District, told the gathering that “I make no bones about it, no matter how you measure it, I’m a progressive, I’m a liberal.”
“The truth about [being a liberal] is it means that I think we’re all in it together and that I owe you some degree of civil liberties, some degree of human rights, some degree of hope for a better life for yourself and for your children. That includes basic health care, affordable housing, and a decent education. I don’t think anyone should go without health care.”
During his remarks, Capuano noted his vote in Congress against the Iraq war and his opposition to the Patriot Act. He also stated that he strongly supports a public health insurance option.
Capuano concluded the program by taking questions from the audience.