LePage's remark could cost Republicans in 2014

AUGUSTA — In trying to protect his vision of the state budget this year, Maine Gov. Paul LePage may have cost his fellow Republicans in elections next year.

LePage targeted a Democratic opponent Thursday with a sexually vulgar phrase to express his frustration over the budget, immediately drawing criticism from Democrats and potential future political opponents. The comment drew widespread attention as the latest example of LePage's blunt and unconventional style, a quality of his that helped attract a tea party base that propelled him to office.

But the comment could cause moderate members of his own party to distance themselves from LePage ahead of next year's elections, experts say. LePage has become a central figure for the far right and Republicans running for re-election next year will need to think about how their relationship with him will be seen among voters, said Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine.

"In some districts, that would be a positive because they are strongly Republican districts, but if you are in a more moderate district, not so much," she said.

Maine voters are already taking notice.

Susan Simons, 65, said in downtown Hallowell on Friday that she had just left lunch with a friend where they discussed "how embarrassed" they are that LePage is the "spokesman for our state."

The real impact may be felt among Republicans lawmakers that could be up for re-election on the same ticket with the governor in 2014, said Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine.

"It makes it very difficult for them," he said. "It gives the Democrats one more thing to use against LePage and, by extension, the Republican party in 2014," he said.

LePage has drawn criticism for ungainly comments before. Shortly after taking office, he told the Portland chapter of NAACP to "kiss my butt," and later said that the state's middle managers are "as corrupt as can be."

LePage's remark Thursday was targeted at state Sen. Troy Jackson, the assistant Democratic leader. LePage called on lawmakers to sign off on a 60-day reprieve to negotiate a new budget and said he'd veto the budget that lawmakers passed. Jackson criticized LePage's announcements as political stunts and said lawmakers don't need to negotiate with LePage because they have enough votes to override his veto next week.

Jackson "claims to be for the people," LePage told reporters, "but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline."

LePage offered an apology Friday, saying, "If I offended anyone with my comment, my sincere apology. It was not intended to offend anybody. But I will say this: It was intended to wake the people of Maine up ... that taxation right now is not appropriate."

While the long-term political ramifications for other Republicans remain to be seen, the effect for LePage may be that he galvanized his supporters but made his job harder, political analysts say.

"For a sizable chunk of the electorate, his blunt talk is not a problem and is probably an asset," said Brian Duff, political science professor at the University of New England. "He speaks from his heart and he hates the idea of extending government and hates the idea of social programs that might keep people dependent on the government, whether it's health care or unemployment or food stamps. He speaks about it with a visceral distaste."

Josh Martin, 27, a LePage supporter from Biddeford, said people who liked LePage when he came into office will still like him after his remarks last week, and people who didn't like him will still dislike him.

"People are set in stone with their political agendas," Martin said in Portland on Friday.

But that same style that attracts supporters could affect LePage's leadership for the rest of his term, Duff said. His loud criticism of the state budget and his plans to veto it grate on both Democrats and GOP lawmakers, who worked together to craft a bipartisan, compromise budget that was acceptable to both sides of the aisle, he said.

It could cause some Republicans to vote against the governor and join Democrats in overriding his veto of the budget next week in an effort to distance themselves from him politically, Brewer said.

"Republicans," Duff added, "are frustrated. The big question would be is it going to frustrate somebody enough that somebody will run against him in the (2014 Republican gubernatorial) primary."

LePage himself may take away that option. On Friday, he said he's mulling a bid for the 2nd Congressional District seat held by Democrat Mike Michaud, who recently took the first steps toward launching his own gubernatorial campaign in Maine next year.

LePage said he's also considering getting out of politics altogether, but he has already starting raising money for his re-election campaign.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Remember this; others will....

The GOPpers that support Lepage in any of these vile repulsive derogatory remarks are from the same mold. They support and honor a guy of the lowest caliber of personhood that speaks for a State or even a Nation...

When you start condoning and concur with this type of behavior degrading demeanor, you have reached the lowest of slim of humanity and should not be having or being around young children's minds that need good pure logical nourishment.

Be proud Goppers, you have achieved another low believing in a man such as he.



The only thing left of the Republican party is a corpse being feasted on by Libertarians. And their agenda is becoming clearer all the time. While constantly complaining about how the government is impeding their rights they seek to attack everyone else's right to democratic elections by challenging voter rights, impeding equal representation by obstructing all legislation that does not feed their quest for power and supporting Citizen's United. They work to destroy our public schools, our infrastructure, our economy, and worker rights. They attack the Union of states by constantly threatening to secede, our president even when he agrees with them and our national security by leaking our military secrets to our enemies first with Valerie Plame then with Benghazi and now the leaker. Not surprisingly Snowden while saying he does not trust our government looks to places like China Russia and Cuba for protection while claiming to be fighting for our constitutional rights.. Those are the governments these guys admire . In his bid for the next Presidential election Mr. Paul is nothing more than the ghost of Barry Goldwater resurrected. It's enough to make you believe in zombies..

Blaming the Republicans for

Blaming the Republicans for ruining schools is just plain silly.
Snowden evolved from the left, not the right.
With all the taxes we pay (excise, gas etc ) , the roads should be paved with gold.
The bigger government gets the less ,effecient it becomes.
The proof is in the debt!



Mr. Snowden is an unabashed admirer of Ron Paul and it's not much of a stretch to see that the current flap about government spying on us is a not very subtle move to support the upcoming presidential bid of his son. Nobody was complaining about it when the Bush administration passed the Patriot Act Mr. Paul has made no bones about the fact that he plans to defund the military and I suspect that would include the NSA

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

On top of the nonsense of Dennis and his mentalmidgets

Rand Paul is supporting Snowden all the way from China and then slightly stutters on his move to Russia.

It was OK in their eyes that he has issues of security for Americans and runs and hides in one communist country and and then again to another and still the Tea potty supports the traitor, Just like Dennis makes him out to be a Dem when he has been a Ron Paul supporter. Shows you very much the disconnect from those loyal so called patriots and loyalist to the communist party called the Tea Party...

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Rand Paul supporters, Tea Potty loves a patriot traitor

Edward Snowden, the former government contractor who leaked information on the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, says he sought the job with Booz Allen Hamilton to gather evidence on the agency's data collection networks.

In a June 12 interview with the South China Morning Post published Monday, Snowden, who previously worked as a CIA technician, said he took the position with the intention of collecting information on the NSA.

His total intention was espionage, being a spy, which is grounds of treason and deserves the best accommodations for prison and his life long lover Bubba.....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

The Debt, you think you know about, or what Fox told you...

Notice how the debt accelerated during Bush's last two budget years. Obama's debt is a continuation of that trend and neither Bush nor Obama are directly responsible for that acceleration. It happened because of the recession. Bush set the all-time record by increasing the debt by $1.1 trillion in 100 days between July 30 and Nov 9, 2008—but that had little to do with his choices.
Recessions cut tax revenues—in this case, dramatically. That accounts for nearly half of the deficit. So blaming Obama for the full deficit is like blaming him for not raising the tax rate to keep tax revenues up. Most of the increased spending is automatic increases in unemployment benefits, food stamps, and social security payments for early retirement. Very little of it is from stimulus spending, and that's over.

The green line shows what would have happened to the national debt if Reagan and the Bushes had balanced their budgets as Reagan claimed he would. G.W. Bush, in all modesty, claimed he would "retire nearly $1 trillion in debt over the next four years. This will be the largest debt reduction ever achieved by any nation at any time."
Republicans are quite embarrassed by this performance, so they have invented a cover story: The Democratic Congress did it. Nice try. But for 12 of the 20 years the Congress was not Democratic. Also, presidents can veto, and when it was Democratic, Congress passed smaller budgets on average than the Republican Presidents asked for. Presidents propose the budget, and they have the most influence. Check it out.



JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Repubs are destroying education, as evident you need some.

According to the Manhattan Institute, ten out of the bottom eleven states in graduation rates occur in "right to work" states, where unions are the weakest. The majority of the schools with low math, science and SAT scores also occur in right to work states. The conservative claim that unions destroy public education is false and while certain unions have their problems, in general, unions are there to protect the worker in all aspects. The real problem is the Republican obsession with cutting spending and giving massive tax breaks to the wealthy.

Mitt Romney is the prime example of what is wrong with education in the United States. Romney made the majority of his money at the investment firm, Bain Capital where his company would invest in a small business, layoff workers and make a profit that he would then pay to their shareholders. The Republican ideology is more than just profits, however, to a big part of the base, it's about theology.

The teacher unions and

The teacher unions and political correctness has ruined the schools. You could double the spending on schools and get the same results maybe even worst results.


Public schools

If you take away the funding for public schools and give it to private schools then you are destroying the public school system. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure that out. If you only take most of the funding and give it to schools that only educate top, wealthier, white students and leave the Special Ed and brown kids in underfunded schools you are also destroying the concept of PUBLIC education. It has nothing to do with unions

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


Reread it, it's about red states, no unions, right to work states and having the lowest in scores etc...See you fail again....

Unions have nothing to do with why the children won't absorb the education.

AGAIN NON UNION states, Texas for example have the lowest attendance and achievements in the country next to Mississippi and what have the unions got to do with that?

Unions have provided protections for workers over 150 years and still do so. You would rather see all workers getting paid less and longer hours, Real American wanting lower rewards for workers...



JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


Yawning involves opening the mouth involuntarily while taking a long, deep breath of air. This is usually done as a result of drowsiness or weariness. Excessive yawning is yawning that happens more often than expected, even if drowsiness or weariness is present.

Major cause is due to depletion of air to the brain or brain problems such tumor, stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or just plain stupidity.

add to the list. Jerrys

add to the list.
Jerrys boring silly repetitive comments

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Sign Petition use URL... dianeussel


Republican Gov. LePage told the press yesterday that Troy Jackson - A Maine State Senator who has been working to avoid a LePage-led state shutdown - is "the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline."


It is unbecoming of a public official to invoke such explicit remarks, but he went there. While Gov. LePage has a long history of rude, inappropriate remarks, this one is by far the most unbecoming. Join me in calling him out.

It's time for Governor LePage to resign!

LePage went on to say that Jackson - who is also a working class logger - should go back to the Maine woods and cut wood... all because he wants to avoid a state shutdown.

This morning, Lepage suggested he might want to run for Congress in 2014. The last thing America needs is another obstructionist Congressperson bent on shutting the government down.

Tell Gov. LePage to Resign - Permanently!

Quote from Jerry the

Quote from Jerry the lib
Republican Gov. LePage told the press yesterday that Troy Jackson - A Maine State Senator who has been working to avoid a LePage-led state shutdown - is "the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline."

Lepage was wrong to say Troy Jackson was the first, there's been many other Dems that deserve that title.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Your reading and comprehension fails you largely

The quote was from Diane Russell, had you read it closely.

Your ignorance surpasses you having anything to do with children or being near them...

Is that what you are thinking as you are reaching for that child in your avatar, as you says others deserve that title?

Yawn! Again

Yawn! Again

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Hot and sizzling and wild fire...

Petition gathering 1000 signatures ever 3 seconds....

Pauly is getting burned.....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Chickens have come to roost! Repubs feed off the white specks

But I will say this: It was intended to wake the people of Maine up ... that taxation right now is not appropriate."

Oh! Pauly it has woken up the voters to see your parties unprofessional unity..

Dang tooting...Lepage's inexcusable visual was not only disgusting but totally ignorant and most unprofessional statesman comment that a ignorant non thinking person could make....

But your see that Dennis Arsenault and Paul Mattson are yawning from not getting any sleep over all of this, and they should, because come 2014 the Repub/Goppers are going to be put to bed too. People do not forget and will be reminded.

The ironic ignorance of these two and others like them, had this been a Dem or Independant making such an ignorant, unprofessional comment they would be all over this like the flys on a cow flap.... they have become the maggots that will be feeding on things like this, what LePage says and they adore it and appreciate it. They would be screaming for an apology, that should happen to the person he insulted. That is what makes the GOP the bigger disgrace for America when you concur with such behavior and stupidity and just want to yawn about it, as it is acceptable.

The Grand Obsolete Party has shown their own stupidity by not taking the high ground and dismiss and condone this kind of behavior and act like the grownups in the room instead of the insulting stupid bully children. Say bye-bye to the scared children that will not stand up to the bully within their own GOP family.

tripple yawn!

tripple yawn!

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Tripple or Triple...GED? Maybe?

Definition of tripple
[in singular]
a horse’s gait in which both left and then both right legs move together.

You are more in donkey, mule breed demonstrating your stubbornness of supporting and and betting on a horsesass....

...as opposed to a Trippel,

...as opposed to a Trippel, which is a delicious ale.

Bob White's picture

You Dumbucratis can only

You Dumbucratis can only hope. Maybe if the paper starts now they may get some people to believe it. When I say the people I'm not talking about the few left handed thinking people

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

The number is 38...and declining.

38 Percent that voted for this mook....the other 62 percent will have much more to say next time....I say that is PEOPLE....

the other 62% in 2014 31%

the other 62% in 2014
31% Michuad 31% Cutler
Guess who wins lol

And if you pay attention to

And if you pay attention to the math, the mook still doesn't have the support of 62% of the state. Spout off all you want, Dennis, you're still the minority.

 's picture

The remark about Troy Jackson

The remark about Troy Jackson was not only vulgar,he also insulted the people of Northern Maine.His bullying,insulting,and immaturity have cost the people of Maine a great deal of respect from other states.His remark about telling Obama to kiss his butt was so vulgar and childish,and yet people continue to call it being straight forward.It amazes me that the morals and values of the people of Maine have been allowed to sink this low.I sincerely hope LePage will run for congress.He doesn't stand a chance of being elected,but it will keep him out of the Blaine house.Maine does not need a bully in office.We need a mature,respectable,work WITH the people Governor,who will help to undo the damage that has been done by LePage.

How did he insult the hard

How did he insult the hard working tax payers from northern Maine? I bet you can name two people from out of state that have lost respect for Maine. Your comment is silly!

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Blunt and unconventional??????????

Was it me, or did anyone else catch that little comment LePage made while speaking to the press regarding his future, As apposed to running for Governor, he may run for Michauds 2nd Congressional seat or he may just retire to Florida, with his pension and collect his "SOCIAL SECURITY". I'm pretty sure it was a side comment to a TV reporter after making his infamous Vaseline comment. I almost hope this was meant to be sarcasm. If not, the guy a bigger hypocrite than I ever imagined. Also I think there may have been a misprint in this story, He does not speak from the heart. He "shoots from the hip", and that's usually because his weapon is usually stuck in it's holster. As for being "blunt" and "unconventional" I think we can correct those words with "Dumb" and "Dumber".
Paul LePage is very lucky to be a Republican, his party has perfected, as a result of necessity, the art of excuses. How much longer is the press, which he has already alienated to a certain degree, going to cover for his rash and inappropriate behavior.
I think it's time for a lot of people to stop wondering if he will ever become a Governor. This guy is in a class all his own, and we thank God for that. All that's left to do now is wait until those responsible for this mess in Augusta, are voted to where they belong. We need to start thinking of how we can help ourselves.......

Gerald Weinand's picture

Next year's elections are

Next year's elections are still 16 months off, an eternity in political terms.

That said, LePage will have no direct impact on legislative races. Last year, LePage did not actively campaign with any Republican candidates (although Dems certainly used him in their campaigns). Nor did LePage campaign with Republicans in the four special elections held since he took office (Dems 3 - GOP 1).

LePage said, "It was intended to wake the people of Maine up ... that taxation right now is not appropriate."

What he doesn't say is that his own budget proposal sent to the Legislature in January included tax increases. I prepared this Storify primer on it at the time:



Governor Lepage may not be

Governor Lepage may not be the most polished person around, but his non politically correct manner is refreshing. The last such person I remember as honest and to the point was "give them hell Harry", former President Truman. We need someone who says it like he sees it and does not mince words. Maybe the good Governor is a little too basic in his language choice, but Maine needs a good waking up from its reputation of a high taxing business bashing State. Maybe the Democratic party's baiting of the Governor will backfire on it and voters will see this for what it is.

Thing is, Truman was SMART,

Thing is, Truman was SMART, which LePage is NOT. Same goes for the modern equivalent politician who is outspoken and speaks his mind, Chris Christie. I may not always agree with him, but I LIKE him because he does speak out, and when he does, it's intelligent.

Remember Lincoln: sometimes is is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

LePage left no doubt whatsoever long ago. That you don't see it make you one of his fools.

 's picture

I too tend to say what I

I too tend to say what I think.But I do so with tact and diplomacy,and hoping at least a small bit of class.It is one thing to say what one thinks.It is different to hold a high office,and use vulgar words,bully,intimidate,and throw tantrums.To tell the President to kiss his butt was extremely vulgar,and he has gone on to say much worse.When hes called on it,he pouts,and blames others for picking on him.He has no control over his anger,and anyone who dares to disagree with him is insulted,and belittle.You call this refreshing.I call it an insult to the office and to the people of Maine.You can say what you think,while still being respectful of others.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Ray there is a huge difference

We need someone who says it like he sees it"?????

Saying it as an articulate spokesman in a grand memorable manner in an unifying way is acceptable .

Saying it as an ignorant unprofessional bully in a disgusting insulting memorable manner is grounds for resignation.

Yepper Paul says it as the way he see its and thinks from the gutter from which, he himself came from.....

You concur with this, where as you should be standing up against his behavior for if the other party had said it, you would not condone saying it or reading it, such like a Dem or Independant or Libertarian.....but if the GOP says it you embrace it?????


There is a difference between

There is a difference between telling it like it is and bullying people, intimidating people, or telling outright exaggerations. And his tax increase for his budget proposal would have been larger then the one in the current budget the legislature just passed. The difference being he was "passing the buck" to the local level and making local government the bad guy in raising taxes. This man is a manipulative person who needs his own wake up call.


Give me a break

Every time LePage says something stupid, his sycophants trot out the politically incorrect label (meant to show he speaks truth) and then says his candor is refreshing.

HST never suggested publicly that anyone should, shouldn't neglected to or always used Vaseline in the manner LePage meant it. He had class. LePage is a street bully - not fit to be governor of Maine or any other state.

I have been in the military where I oversaw seamen, boatswain mates and gunners. All could easily outsewar Lepage, but all knew enough not to do it in front of women or the press. Television journalism was in its infancy...

I also lived in Southeast Alaska and worked part time serving drinks to loggers and fishermen. these men also had colorful vocabularies, but knew better than to shout those words from the rooftops.

LePage is way beyong refreshing, or non politically correct. He is emotionally immature and because of that unable to control his mouth.

PAUL MATTSON's picture



double yawn

double yawn

Gerry Thompson's picture

Of Course

Of course Republicans are frustrated. We can't continue the Democrat way yet they still pile the pork on every bill knowing their bills will get vetoed.

Steve  Dosh's picture

LePage's remark could cost Republicans in 2014

Mainers Sunday 20:00
It's all conjecture at this point in time •
Perhaps a hurricane will hit ME and he'll be a hero a lá Chris Christy ( R - NJ ) or the Bruins will win the Stanley Cup and move to Portland
He certainly has a knack for opening up his big mouth and inserting his foot in it , huh ?
Anyone can plainly see that . ..
" Oh , look Mom . The emperor has no clothes on ! "
hth , Steve :D


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...