Gov. Paul LePage doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on his support for embattled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in his regular Tuesday appearance on WVOM.

On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin told fellow Republican House members he wouldn’t campaign with or defend Trump after Friday’s release of a 2005 tape in which the New York billionaire said “when you’re a star,” you can “do anything” to women, including grabbing them by the genitals.

Amid a sort of exodus among Republican leaders, Trump has fired back with criticism of former President Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who was impeached after an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Trump brought other women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to Sunday’s debate.

LePage endorsed Trump in February and his daughter, Lauren LePage, works for the campaign.

On Tuesday, he praised Trump’s family and called the candidate “a breath of fresh air” compared to Hillary Clinton, who he said “lies, takes money from foreign countries and gets a free pass” in apparent references to revelations around the Clinton Foundation and her emails as secretary of state.

“I would rather have him stick his foot in his mouth than Hillary having her hand in my pocket,” he said.

However, after Trump’s controversy was brought up, LePage also rhetorically asked WVOM hosts George Hale and Ric Tyler if Trump is a “slimeball,” conceded that he’s “not (the) ideal guy I’d want my daughter going after.”

“But I will tell you one thing,” LePage said. “As head of state, is he going to protect our nation and fight the debt, or is he going to go after interns?”

The governor also levied rare criticism for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, the moderate Republican who polls as Maine’s most popular politician. He said he’s “no Susan Collins fan” after the August op-ed in The Washington Post in which she announced that she wouldn’t support Trump.

“I am from the Grand Old Party and I am from the party of Ronald Reagan,” LePage said. “That is different than the people who claim to be Republicans that are out there shooting their mouths off.”

He also segued from a discussion of attack ads against U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican from Maine’s 2nd District, to say this about Trump as he compares to President Barack Obama:

“Sometimes I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, 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 his own, he ignores Congress and every single day, we’re slipping into anarchy. I just think that four more years of a similar mentality is going to destroy this nation.”

One of the dictionary definitions of “autocrat” is “a person who behaves in an authoritarian manner.”

And LePage said he’ll likely join Trump at a Bangor rally on Saturday. He’s introduced Trump each of the past three times he’s been in Maine this year.


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