Maine Governor LePage Reprises Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Theory

Maine’s controversial and unpopular governor, Paul LePage, stuck his foot in his mouth yet again last Monday when he reprised Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” attack.

Speaking to a conservative women’s group in Falmouth, Governor LePage asserted that “about 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work.”

When a stunned audience member asked “What?”, LePage repeated his point. “About 47 percent. It’s really bad.”

Audio of his remarks is below, via the Bangor Daily News:

As the Daily News’ Mike Tipping points out, LePage’s claim is flagrantly false:

Just to be absolutely clear, LePage’s statistic is completely wrong. Currently, around 65 percent of Mainers over the age of 15 are working or are unemployed and actively seeking work. Of the remaining 35 percent, almost all are retired, are caring for children or other family members, are pursuing education or training or have a disability that prevents them from working. Only a tiny fraction aren’t working for other reasons. The conservative Heritage Foundation, using U.S. Census data, puts this number at 1.1 percent nationally.

LePage’s comment immediately calls to mind Romney’s calamitous assertion that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government, think of themselves as victims, take no responsibility for their lives, and are thus not worth his campaign’s time. The stunning video of Romney’s gaffe, which was released by Mother Jones in September 2012, did untold damage to the Republican’s presidential hopes.

LePage’s remarks could prove costly as well. The Tea Party-backed governor is currently in the early stages of a tight three-way campaign against Democrat Mike Michaud and Independent Eliot Cutler; although LePage’s approval rating is underwater, he stands a fighting chance due to Cutler’s potential to split the Democratic vote (as he did in 2010, paving the way for LePage’s narrow win).

The governor is no stranger to tone-deaf remarks. Throughout his first term, LePage said that the NAACP can “kiss my butt,” accused a state senator of being “the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline” and of being a “bad person” with “a black heart,” and repeatedly compared the IRS to the Gestapo, among many other controversies.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

A Year Of Mourning Since Uvalde Massacre -- And What Have We Done?

Crosses adorn a makeshift memorial for the victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas

Today’s date, May 24, marks a year since an 18 year-old male, armed with an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle, walked into the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and shot to death 19 grade-school children and three teachers. He wounded 17 others who somehow managed to survive, even though most of them had been shot and lay bleeding for over an hour before police officers finally confronted the shooter and killed him.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ }}