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

Memo Pad Politics

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.

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. 4sanity4all October 22, 2013

    Wow, this guy doesn’t have a clue! I hope that all of the voters in his area hear all about this- people don’t like to be called lazy moochers, particularly when they are working hard and trying to get by. LePage is really out of touch with his constituents.

    1. ceverettham October 23, 2013


      1. Sand_Cat October 23, 2013

        About what?

        1. ceverettham October 24, 2013

          LePage is totally in touch with his working constituents, and certainly does have a clue.

          1. CPAinNewYork October 24, 2013

            Very instructive. I didn’t know that the “working constituents” of maine are rednecks.

          2. 2010HDSTGLIDE October 24, 2013

            If that is supposed to be a shot it was very impressive.

    2. Independent1 October 23, 2013

      The sad part was he got elected with a little over 37% of the vote, barely beating out an Independent in a 3-way race. And unfortunately, Maine doesn’t have a law in place that requires the winner of any elections to garner more than 50% of the vote in order to be declared the winner.

  2. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh October 23, 2013

    LaPage’s plan to be a one-term Governor is definitely working. I would be willing to bet that the citizens of that state are coming to regret electing him, if they haven’t done so already.
    Unfortunately, Maine, like most other civilized states, does not have a recall provision in their state constitution. And being a public embarrassment is not an impeachable offense. So they are stuck with him for another couple of years.

  3. midway54 October 23, 2013

    He is only parroting the right wing inflammatory rot as a dedicated stooge for the Plutocracy. Nonetheless, the plutocrats own the media and political institutions of the Country and their message will be warmly received by the targeted clueless, who will run off to cheer and vote for the likes of this clown and ultimately become victims, along with millions of the rest of us, of the plutocracy’s power machine Operation Phornicate.

  4. Justin Napolitano October 23, 2013

    Just let the Republicans talk and they will talk themselves out of a job. Keep up the good work Governor. Your next speech ought to be about. how bad the economy is for millionaires and how they have to cut the pay of their servants to pay for upgrades to their house in France. And don’t forget about that new yacht they just bought and how much it costs to keep it running.
    Go for it big guy.

  5. howa4x October 23, 2013

    Typical republican myth making

  6. mandinka October 23, 2013

    Only a lib could take facts and turn them into some sort of gotcha

  7. nirodha October 24, 2013

    Lepage proves that stupidity has no geographic boundaries. While he would fit into the south particularly well, he is an embarrassment to the great state of Maine. His comments must really offend the rock-ribbed independent spirited down-east Mainers that I know; hard working farmers, woodsmen and fishermen alike. But Lepage has never really worked hard physically in his life; his girth attests to that.

    1. CPAinNewYork October 24, 2013

      Why are so many Republicans obese?

      1. Independent1 October 24, 2013

        Because, not only do they eat excesively off the fat of the taxpayer, they eat excessively off the fat of the land too.


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