“I work with my staff to do what’s best for the Maine people,” declared Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday morning as he stood behind a set of Russian nesting dolls with the likenesses of Bill Clinton along with Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and Hillary Clinton. “And I will tell you this, I’m a lot of things, but I have not been 100 percent incorrect the last six years. And according to your writings, I’m about the biggest dumbass there is on the face of the earth.”

It was the first time that the governor had spoken to local print media since August, when he made national headlines for making a series of racially charged remarks and sending a profanity-laden voicemail to a Democratic lawmaker. However, on Monday, LePage broke his “never again speak to the press” pledge, because he said he wanted to set the record straight after he had just made headlines yet again for stating that the country is slipping into anarchy and it needs the “authoritarian power” of Donald Trump. 

The governor made those remarks on Tuesday on WVOM radio after responding to questions about the 2005 tape in which Trump bragged that he can get away with forcing himself on women and grabbing their genitals because he’s “a star.” 

LePage called the 11-year-old tape “ancient history,” dismissed the comments as “locker room talk,” and complained that the media treats him and Trump unfairly. 

“He never lied under oath and he didn’t do it in the White House,” LePage told the WVOM hosts, referencing former President Bill Clinton’s affairs. “… Is [Trump] a slime ball? I’d be the first one to say, ‘not my ideal guy I’d want my daughter going after.’ But I will tell you one thing, as the head of state, is he going to protect our nation and fight the debt or is he going to go after interns?”

The governor then took aim at Republican Senator Susan Collins for openly declaring her opposition to Trump in August. “I am no Susan Collins fan,” said LePage. “That’s not the kind of Republican that I am. I am from the Grand Old Party. I am from the party of Ronald Reagan. That is different than the people that claim to be Republicans. They’re out here shooting their mouths off.” 

Collins endorsed and raised money for LePage during both of his campaigns for governor and refrained from criticizing LePage in August after he called a lawmaker a “socialist cocksucker” and declared that people of color are “the enemy.” 

In an emailed response to LePage’s latest rant a Collins spokesman said, “Senator Collins recognizes that emotions are running high as a result of this election and she will continue to work closely with the Governor, his staff, and his Administration on issues important to the state of Maine.”

On Tuesday, the governor also called Trump a “breath of fresh air” and characterized the Trump movement as a struggle of the average person against the Washington “elite.”

 


“Sometimes I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken,” said LePage, “but we need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law because we’ve had eight years of a president … he’s an autocrat, he just does it on its own, he ignores Congress and we’re slipping every single day …  into anarchy.”

Trump has often stated that he will target religious minorities, the press and his political enemies if elected. He told his opponent Democrat Hillary Clinton on Sunday that “you’d be in jail” if he ran the country. 

The ACLU of Maine condemned the governor’s comments, noting that authoritarian regimes typically use their unlimited government power to crack down on the rights of citizens. “The Constitution was written to protect Americans from ... the very thing Gov. LePage is calling for — an all-powerful, overreaching government,” wrote ACLU executive director Alison Beyea. “The governor says he wants to bring back the rule of law, but it actually sounds like he wants to replace the rule of law with the rule of tyranny.”

America “Evolving Into Massive Dictatorship”

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, LePage said he meant to say “authoritative,” not “authoritarian,” but said he meant what he said about President Obama. 

“I called him autocratic yesterday, but let me be clear, I believe that the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, is a dictator,” said LePage. “... Donald Trump on the other hand is a very powerful personality and he has a very authoritative persona.…When he’s in the room, people notice. He does not have to go behind closed doors with his community activists to get things done and to hurt  American people.”

The governor added that be believed the country’s founders wanted a “weak federal government,” but that now “it’s evolving into a very massive dictatorship and I don’t think that we’re going to survive it.” In response to questions about whether he believed the Republican Party will be able to survive the inter-party fighting over Trump, LePage talked about the World War II generation.

“The great generation really cared for this country,” said LePage. “And I don’t think that the kids of the great generation have the same care, desire and love for the nation that we used to have.… John McCain, for instance, he spent his time in Vietnam. He had a lovely wife here who held everything together. When he got released, he dumped her. I mean that’s not a great generation.”

He added that he isn’t perfect either and that the “only person that’s ever been perfect in the history of mankind was crucified by the government.” 

When asked to elaborate on his criticism of Collins, Le-Page said, “I have my own personal feelings about politicians in my party, but you don’t see me going out and getting in front  and criticizing them,” said LePage right after he had criticized members of his own party. When asked which of Trump’s economic policies he supported, LePage replied, “I don’t know enough about them. I’m just campaigning right now.”