ANALYSIS: Obama and LePage, closer than you thought?

LEWISTON — There may be no love lost between Maine Gov. Paul LePage and President Barack Obama. On many issues LePage and Obama would be viewed as political polar opposites.

Associated Press photos

Gov. Paul LePage, left, and President Barack Obama share some common views based on a comparison of speeches given recently.

"No one governor, or one party, is going to move this state forward. It takes all of us. All of us willing to roll up our our sleeves and go to work," LePage said.

"The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can," Obama said.

LePage once even famously said he would tell the president to "go to hell" regarding federal commercial fishing regulations and their impact on Maine.

Perhaps that's all behind them now.

Based on things LePage, a Republican, and Obama, a Democrat, have said recently, it appears the two share similar views on more things than most people would imagine.

Mainers listening closely to Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday night may have noticed that he said a few things that sounded a lot like things LePage said just a few days earlier.

Call it an early Valentine's Day card, but here's a quick look at where the governor and the president apparently see eye to eye.


During his State of the State Address on Tuesday, Feb. 5, LePage said:

"We passed legislation to strengthen vocational education. This will ensure that Maine students who work with their hands have more opportunities to learn valuable skills and gain good-paying careers."

One week later, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, Obama said:

"Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job."

Domestic violence

LePage: "I really believe that we need to do something about (domestic violence). I think that half of the homicides in this state are due to domestic violence. And that, we all agree, no matter where we’re from, that that’s unacceptable ... domestic violence is family violence. It's a heinous crime. We, the men in this room, need to stand up and shout loud and clear, that we are going to protect our women and children."

Obama: "We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence ... we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood — because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one."

Grading schools

LePage: "Tonight I am directing (Education) Commissioner (Stephen) Bowen to develop a ranking system for Maine schools as they have done in Florida and Indiana. Each school in Maine will be graded: A-B-C-D or F. "

Obama: "And tomorrow, my administration will release a new 'College Scorecard' that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criterion: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck."

JFK quotes

LePage: "My childhood hero, President John F. Kennedy, had it right: 'An economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs or enough profits.' It was true in 1960, and it’s still true in 2013."

Obama: "Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this chamber that 'the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress ... It is my task,' he said, 'to report the State of the Union — to improve it is the task of us all.'”

Partisan politics

LePage: "No one governor, or one party, is going to move this state forward. It takes all of us. All of us willing to roll up our our sleeves and go to work ...

"Improving our economy is vital, and it can only be done if we all put away our ideologies to improve the job climate in this state.

"Maine families need our help — all of us. They are tired of the partisan political rhetoric. Here in our state, and in Washington."

Obama: "The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all."

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PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Obama: "The American people

Obama: "The American people don't expect government to solve every problem."
At least half of them do; the government solutions are called federal handouts. Free healthcare, free food, free housing, free cell phones. Nice and cushy in their government provided, taxpayer funded, "don't have to work 'cuz the gov'ment takes care of me" lifestyles.

 's picture

Come on Pirate

You're better than parroting this mindless rhetoric.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Truth does not,.....make

Truth does not,.....make that, should not change from teller to teller.
What did I leave out? Which of my statements was inaccurate? What would you have had me write instead?


Oh No!

LePage stole Obama's speech!

Mark Elliott's picture

and now for the one major

and now for the one major difference: LePage is doing everything to follow through....Obama was just giving us lip service!

Let us not forget all the good things Obama promised while campaigning back in 2008...very few of which he has actually done.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Any idea, Mark, what the

Any idea, Mark, what the official date of closure was for Gitmo? I seem to have missed that somewhere.

Mark Elliott's picture

Um.....lets see....i believe

Um.....lets see....i believe the date was "imediately"!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yup, that sounds about right.

Yup, that sounds about right.

Bob White's picture

You are a man of great

You are a man of great wisdom. You are a ledgen

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Shhh...don't tell anyone.

Shhh...don't tell anyone. Don't want those heavy breathing phone calls in the middle of the night, ya know?

Steve  Dosh's picture

ANALYSIS: Obama and LePage, closer than you thought?

Scott 13.02.13 11 am •
Nice comparisons . It's inevitable that , given certain problems there are only certain solutions . Guns in New England , fer instance
We look at it this way , your Hon. Gov. and the President of the United States of America are on two different planes
The President's departed 24 hours ago
" You are no JFK . " Lloyd Benson ( D ) , former TX Senator
ref :,_you're_no_Jack_Kennedy
hth ?  /s, Steve

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If not for "guns in New

If not for "guns in New England", the colonists would still be singing, "God Save The Queen" and Hawaii would be part of the Japanese Empire.

Steve  Dosh's picture

ref :


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