“The reason I think I was successful all those years in a place like Malden, which is only 6 percent registered Republicans, is because people trusted me, that I would have common sense and the right priorities,” he said.
Tisei has also capitalized on problems with Tierney’s credibility. The 6th District campaign narrative has been dominated by what Tierney knew or didn’t about an illegal gambling enterprise run by his brothers-in-law in Antigua. His wife, who managed a bank account for her brother, accepted thousands of dollars from him in gifts and served a month in jail for her role in helping him file false tax returns.
Tierney has not been charged with any wrongdoing and says he didn’t know the business was illegal.
Republican super PACs and other partisan groups have spent millions on ads attacking Tierney and his wife. Tisei’s own campaign hasn’t shied away from fanning the flames.
“I think most people look at this ... and just don’t believe him,” Tisei said of Tierney. “He has not been honest or forthright.”
Tierney, in turn, has called Tisei “shameless.”
Tisei’s liberal stances on social issues have earned him a moderate label, although his views swing substantially to the right when it comes to fiscal issues. The national debt is a chief concern for Tisei, who says spending cuts are needed. He wants to simplify the tax code, is open to restructuring social programs like Medicare to ensure their future viability and wants to reduce regulations on business.
He has said he would not vote for Paul Ryan’s Republican budget, but called it a good starting point for discussion. Tisei is against raising taxes and repeatedly voted against tax hikes in Massachusetts, receiving high marks from anti-tax groups during his time in the state Legislature.