Photo: MaineDOE via Flickr.com
Maine governor Paul LePage, a Republican, has reportedly decided to seek a second term in office in 2014. According to the Maine Sun Journal, LePage made the announcement at a private fundraiser hosted by former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
LePage’s decision — which represents an about-face from the previous week, when he suggested that he would not run again — promises to be unwelcome with many Maine voters. After all, LePage is consistently rated as one of the least popular governors in America. Political comedians, however, must be thrilled with the prospect of another LePage campaign. Although LePage’s bombastic leadership style is often unsuccessful, it certainly is quotable.
Here are 5 of LePage’s most outrageous statements:
On Barack Obama
While running for governor in 2010, LePage fired up a Tea Party crowd by promising that “as your governor, you’re going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page, saying ‘Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell’!”
On the NAACP
When asked why he had turned down repeated invitations to attend Martin Luther King Day dinners and other events, LePage laughingly replied that the NAACP can “kiss my butt.”
On Bisephenol A
Photo: shrff14 via Flickr.com
LePage dismissed a debate over the chemichal bisephenol A, which is commonly used in plastics and may have harmful effects on humans.
“Quite frankly, the science that I’m looking at says there is no [problem],” LePage said. “There hasn’t been any science that identifies that there is a problem.”
The governor added: “The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.”
On the IRS:
Photo: Matthew G. Bisanz via Wikimedia Commons
On two separate occasions, LePage compared the IRS “scandal” to Nazi Germany. First, the governor referred to the organization as “the new Gestapo,” before quickly apologizing to the Jewish community for his word choice. But just a week later, a reporter asked him clarify his remarks, leading to this exchange:
“Do you have a sense of what the Gestapo did during World War II?” Heintz asked.
“Yeah,” LePage said. “They killed a lot of people.”
“And the IRS is headed in that direction?”
“They’re headed in the direction of killing a lot of people?”
“Are you serious?”
“I’m very serious,” LePage said, later adding: “I’m saying the federal government is taking away the freedom of Americans to make choices.”
On State Senator Troy Jackson
LePage’s most recent controversial statement came in late June, when he made an anal sex joke to describe Democratic state senator Troy Jackson.
“Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” LePage then added that Jackson is a “bad person” with “a black heart.”