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Maine Gov. Paul LePage Has History of Controversial Remarks

The Republican governor has rarely apologized for speaking his mind like he did on Friday.
Paul LePage
Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks to reporters at the Statehouse in Augusta in 2013. Robert F. Bukaty / AP file

Racist, insensitive, crude — these are just some of the adjectives that have been used to describe the shocking remarks that Maine's outspoken governor has made over the years.

But Gov. Paul LePage has rarely apologized for speaking his mind like he did this week after he stalked off-stage just 45 seconds into a speech at the University of Maine at Farmington, calling student protesters "idiots" on the way out.

The last time LePage, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, issued a mea culpa was in January after saying that out-of-state drug dealers come to Maine to peddle heroin and impregnate "white girls."

Here are some of LePage's other "greatest hits":

"Lovely people, but you’ve got to have an interpreter.”

That was LePage over the weekend discussing the accents of Indian immigrants while criticizing a referendum proposal to raise Maine's minimum wage to $12. He also said he couldn't understand workers "from Bulgaria." And he made a crude remark about President Barack Obama, saying Obama stands for "one big-ass mistake, America."

"Tell them to kiss my butt."

That was LePage's response to criticism from the state's NAACP after he opted not to attend Martin Luther King Jr. ceremonies in Bangor and Portland back in 2011. To be fair, LePage did attend a MLK breakfast in the town of Waterville.

"As your governor, you're gonna be seeing a lot of me on the front page saying ‘Gov. LePage tells Obama to go to hell.'"

That was LePage's warning shot to the White House during his 2010 campaign.

"The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards."

That was LePage in 2011 dismissing concerns about the chemical BPA in plastic bottles.

"The minute we start stifling our speech, we might as well go home, roll up our sleeves and get our guns out."

That was LePage fuming after he was barred last May from speaking at a state Appropriations Committee meeting.

"What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet."

LePage made the unfortunate comparison in 2012 during his weekly radio show and later apologized to anybody he offended, “especially the Jewish community.”

Maine State Sen. Troy Jackson “claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”

LePage said this in 2013 after Jackson gave the Democratic response to the governor’s budget veto.

"If you want a good education go to private schools. If you can’t afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school.”

LePage said that in 2012 while discussing school choice during a talk at a local community college.