Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley accused each other of misleading voters about their tax plans at Tuesday night's WGBH News/Boston Globe debate.
Baker said Coakley will raise taxes, but he’ll hold the line.
"I think the middle class feels strapped already and the last thing they need is another four years of getting nickel and dimed again," he said.
Coakley implied Baker’s not being honest.
"What Charlie has proposed is at least $300 million in tax cuts, maybe $600 million, according to the Boston Globe," she said. "He says, 'I’ll find that money somewhere.' But that’s OK, he’ll find that money somewhere."
Similarly, Coakley has not proposed any tax increases specifically, but her agenda calls for new programs costing hundreds of millions of dollars. During the debate, Coakley said she’s exploring the possibility of a graduated income tax, so as not to burden the middle class.
Coakley and Baker also both tried to show voters they're not only good leaders, but likeable ones.
The candidates were asked: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
"I think that people still think from 2010 that I don’t have a sense of humor and I’m too chilly, and I’ve worked four years to overcome that," Coakley said.
Baker said he wants people to know that he does not lack compassion.
“It bothers me that a guy who is facile with math, which does matter when you’re dealing with a $38 billion budget, is somehow considered to be somebody who doesn’t care about people,” Baker said.
In an election where polls are close and so are the candidates' positions, personality may make the difference. And both Baker and Coakley are fighting to reverse images from their previous, unsuccessful, campaigns.