8/20 note: We originally posted this item in June, but are resurfacing it now in light of Gov. LePage’s reported remark to Republicans last week that President Obama “hates white people.” LePage denied making the comment.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is a man who speaks his mind.
He told reporters Thursday that Democratic state Sen. Troy Jackson “claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”
Add that to a long list of things LePage — who is politically vulnerable and notably said Friday he is considering running for Congress — has said and raised eyebrows in the process. Below are the eight examples of why the words “LePage” and “controversy” have often appeared in the same sentence. (The Bangor Daily News has a more comprehensive chronicle of LePage’s most controversial remarks here.)
1. Telling President Obama to “go to hell.” During his 2010 campaign, LePage said that “as your governor, you’re gonna be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying ‘Gov. LePage tells Obama to go to hell.’”
2. “Kiss my butt.” In 2011, LePage’s decision not to attend Martin Luther King Day ceremonies in Portland and Bangor hosted by NAACP groups became a source of tension. In response to a reporter’s question about NAACP’s dissatisfaction over a perceived pattern of him declining invitations, LePage, who has an adopted son from Jamaica, said: “Tell them to kiss my butt.” LePage did attend a King Day breakfast in Waterville.
3. Comparing IRS to Gestapo. In 2012, LePage said, ”What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet.”
4. Walks out of press conference. Questions from reporters about his wife’s residency prompted LePage to angrily storm out of a press conference in 2010.
5. “Women may have little beards.” LePage in 2011 dismissed concerns about the chemical BPA in plastic bottles, saying: “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.”
6. A fear of newspapers. LePage said in February that his “greatest fear in the state of Maine” is “newspapers.” He added: “If they were fair and balanced, I would be a supporter.”
7. “We might as well … get our guns out.” Earlier this year LePage said, “The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get our guns out.”
8. See ya later. Did we mention LePage has a knack for walking out when he isn’t pleased? He walked out of a state legislative committee meeting after not being allowed to speak earlier this year.
Updated at 5:18 p.m.