Provocative remarks by Maine’s governor over the years
Maine’s outgoing firebrand Republican governor has railed on his perceived opponents with fury and gusto over an eight-year term marked by profanity-laced controversy and a failed impeachment attempt. But the four candidates running to succeed the governor who calls himself “Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular” have promised a more collaborative approach.
Here’s a look at some remarks made by two-term Gov. Paul LePage:
As a candidate for governor, LePage told a group of fishermen during a discussion of federal regulations that he wouldn’t be afraid to tell President Barack Obama to “go to hell.” He later said he regretted the words but didn’t back down on criticism of the administration.
After the Portland NAACP chapter felt slighted when LePage declined invitations to attend Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, a reporter asked LePage about it. He answered: “Tell them to kiss my butt.” LePage ended up attending a breakfast honoring the slain civil rights leader in Waterville, as he had in the past.
LePage dismissed the dangers of bisphenol-A, a chemical additive used in some plastic bottles, by saying the worst that could happen was “some women may have little beards.” LePage later said he was joking.
LePage used a barnyard epithet when he was asked about a meeting he had with three unemployed workers and a lawmaker. When a reporter asked for his thoughts about the meeting, LePage used the expletive, then repeated it slowly.
At a town hall meeting, LePage was asked about state fees. His response: “The problem is, middle management of the state is about as corrupt as can be.”
In a radio address, LePage assailed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the health care overhaul law, saying Americans had no choice but to buy health insurance or “pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.” He later said he didn’t mean to offend the Jewish community or minimize the Holocaust.
Expressing his frustration over the state budget, LePage used a vulgar phrase to describe a Democratic opponent, saying the lawmaker “claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”
LePage said during a town hall meeting that drug dealers with the names “D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” come to Maine from New York City and Connecticut, sell their drugs and then “half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.” LePage later apologized, saying he meant to say “Maine women” instead of white women.
LePage was accused of racial insensitivity over a joke about a Chinese investor’s name. The man’s first name is Chiu — pronounced “choo.” When LePage mentioned him at a business breakfast, he pronounced the man’s name with an emphatic fake sneeze. The governor’s office later said the two have an “excellent relationship.”
LePage vowed to seek “spiritual guidance” but rejected assertions that he had addiction or mental health issues after leaving an obscenity-laced tirade on a lawmaker’s voicemail. On the voicemail, LePage used a slur that relates to oral sex and concluded his rant by telling Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine that, “I am after you.” Later, he told reporters he wished he could go back in time so he could challenge Gattine to a duel and point a gun “right between his eyes.”
The governor created a firestorm over the racial makeup of heroin dealers when he said at a town hall meeting that “90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ringed binder, are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn.”
The governor defended his efforts saying: “A bad guy is a bad guy. I don’t care what color it is. When you go to war ... you try to identify the enemy. The enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”
LePage suggested he sometimes concocts stories to mislead reporters, and characterized the state news media as “vile,” ?inaccurate” and “useless.” ″I just love to sit in my office and make up ways so they’ll write these stupid stories because they are just so stupid, it’s awful,” he told WGAN-AM.