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By Mike Deehan


BRIGHTON — After Republican gubernatorial nominee Charles Baker and Democratic nominee Martha Coakley wrapped up their debate at WGBH studios Tuesday night, both candidates told reporters the debate was a good display of what motivates them to want to be governor.

Baker was asked by a veteran Massachusetts political reporter if he was raising a “false expectation” for voters by “saying taxes won’t rise when they inevitably do.”

“Well, I can tell you they aren’t going to rise in a Baker administration. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure we live within our means and we deliver the kind of government that people can afford.

>>> Video of Baker’s post-debate comments is available here:

Video of Coakley’s availability can be found at:

A five-minute video “highlight reel” from the debate is available at: <<<

In her comments to reporters, Coakley said it is “surprising” that Baker has so far refused to sign a no-new-taxes pledge like he did in 2010.

“He’s talked a lot about ‘I won’t raise taxes, I won’t raise taxes.’ He’s already got a 300 to 600 million deficit now by his economic plan, he hasn’t said where that’s going to come from either, so I think voters have to ask where that’s going to come from,” Coakley said.

Baker said middle-class voters he’s talked to during the campaign say they know they have been the ones to pay for every tax and fee increase over the past six or seven years.

“They want the next governor to help state government cinch the belt and live within its means and as governor, I’d plan to do that,” Baker said.

Asked about Coakley’s willingness to pursue a graduated income tax for the state, Baker strongly disagreed.

“Look, the voters of Massachusetts have had many opportunities to make a decision about a grad tax and every time they’ve overwhelmingly rejected it and I would overwhelmingly reject it as well,” he said.

The attorney general wouldn’t say who she thought won the debate, but called the event a good opportunity to discuss “what does drive my decision-making, my work and how I would govern and what drives his.”

“There’s a lot at stake for Massachusetts, for people who under a Baker regime, I think, are going to get hurt, they’re going to see cuts, they’re not going to have the mental health that they need. All the things that I care about, I’ve worked for. That’s why I’m so engaged in this race now,” Coakley said.

Full debate: