Maine Gov. Paul LePage is backing off his comparison of the IRS as the "new Gestapo" because of the impending Obamacare mandate that requires Americans to have health insurance coverage or pay a fee.
The Republican governor made the remark in his weekend radio address. But LePage said Monday his use of the word "clouded" his message, and he didn't intend to insult anyone
Derrek Shulman of the Anti-Defamation League says comparisons to the Nazi police force have no place in politics or anywhere else.
Since taking office last year, LePage has stirred outrage with remarks about labor unions, state government middle managers and the president, among others.
LePage also used his weekly radio address to the state Sunday to declare that the Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare as constitutional has “made America less free,” the Waterville Morning Sentinel
The governor also went further in describing his distaste for the new healthcare law, saying it “raises taxes, cuts Medicare for the elderly, gets between patients and their doctors, costs trillions of taxpayer dollars, and kills jobs.”
And given the uncertainty regarding congressional approval of funding for some Obamacare programs, LePage said he has no plans at the moment to establish an insurance exchange program or to expand the Medicaid program, both of which are key elements of the law.
“With these looming uncertainties circling around this issue, Maine cannot move forward right now with Obamacare,” he said, adding that because of the Supreme Court ruling “reviving the American dream just became nearly impossible to do.”
“We are now a nation which supports dependency rather than independence,” he said. “Instead of encouraging self-reliance, we are encouraging people to rely on the government.”
In response, Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant called LePage’s remarks “a bunch of nonsense” and demanded an apology “to all of those who suffered at the hands of the real Gestapo,” according to the Morning Sentinel.
“This is a step too far,” Grant said. “There appears now to be no limit to the extreme language he will use to misinform, degrade and insult people . . . There is nothing that degrades politics more than purported leaders who so cavalierly invoke the worst in human history when they can’t get their way in legitimate, modern policy disagreements.”
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