Maine Gov. Paul LePage raised eyebrows Wednesday when he suggested Americans get their guns out if their constitutional right to freedom of speech is ever stifled.
The Republican leader of the Pine Tree State has been on a tear against the Democrats since he was refused the opportunity to speak before the state Appropriations Committee earlier this month, calling it "censorship."
LePage’s fury mushroomed last week when he was asked to remove a TV monitor he'd placed outside his office that aired his political views.
He compared those issues to what he sees as censorship at the national level.
"The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get our guns out," LePage said, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Asked what he meant by that comment, his spokeswoman declined to elaborate.
LePage on Wednesday also continued his argument against an expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Maine.
"Expanding Medicaid? That’s not being run locally, that’s being run from Washington," LePage told reporters, according to WCSH.
"Are you that naive that you don’t realize who is pulling the strings? This is being run by our congressional delegation . . . If I thought it was local, it would be no problem."
The expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act has been a lightning rod for controversy.
Under the law, the government will pay 100 percent of the expansion, which would provide insurance for some 70,000 Maine residents for the first three years, the Bangor Daily News reports
State Democratic legislators have attempted to force the expansion by linking it to LePage's proposal to make a final payment to Maine’s hospitals on hundreds of millions of dollars in past Medicaid debt, the newspaper says.
LePage vetoed the idea, and now, both he and the Democrats are drawing up stand-alone bills to advance the hospital debt payment and Medicaid expansion.
"This is a national problem and it’s a direction the country is going in that we should be very concerned about," the governor said.
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