Maine Republicans May Break Silence on Obama Remark

Friday, 23 Aug 2013 04:04 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Maine Republicans are considering whether to break Gov. Paul LePage’s gag order about what was said at a private GOP fundraiser — an event in which he reportedly stated that President Barack Obama “hates white people.”

The Bangor Daily News reports “rumors are flying that at least a trio of Republicans, including some sitting state lawmakers, are considering going on the record to confirm what anonymous sources have already alleged: that LePage accused the president of being racist.”

The incendiary quip was allegedly made during an Aug. 12 fundraiser at a private home in Belgrade attended by GOP lawmakers and supporters.

“Those in the governor’s inner circle hope to wait the press frenzy out by refusing further comment and denying the reports of the remarks on technical accuracy if not on substance,” Rebekah Metzler, a political reporter with U.S. News & World Report, writes in the Daily News.

“But a group of Republicans publicly coming out as witnesses to LePage’s remarks and subsequent bold attempted cover-up would mark a significant shift in the party balance as he heads into a three-way re-election race against Democrat Rep. Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler.”

LePage has a history of making outlandish remarks.

During a disagreement with the Maine NAACP in 2011, he said, "tell them to kiss my butt." And he once compared the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo.

Two months ago, he also slammed Maine Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson.

And earlier this month, while sitting in a fighter jet simulator, LePage — who has had a contentious relationship with the media — remarked that he wanted to find the Portland Press Herald building and "blow it up."

Metzler said LePage’s team has “tried to strong arm the supporters, lawmakers and fundraisers at the [Aug. 12] event into a cover-up.”

That tactic that may lead Republicans to break with LePage because they are “finally fed up with having to clean-up after a man whose political fortunes are rapidly dimming,” she said.

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