Maine's Tea Party governor echoes Mitt Romney

Governor LePage lets slip what he really thinks about nearly half of his state's population

By Elias Isquith

Published October 22, 2013 1:05PM (EDT)

  (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
(AP/Robert F. Bukaty)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, no stranger to controversy, has done it again.

According to a report in the Bangor Daily News, the Tea Party-backed first-term governor, who is planning on running for reelection in 2014, recently told a conservative crowd that "About 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work."

LePage's 47 percent figure is strongly reminiscent of Mitt Romney's infamous claim, leaked during the waning days of the 2012 race, that 47 percent of Americans are "dependent on government" and will "never ... take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

What's more, according to the Bangor Daily News' Mike Tipping, LePage's assertion is not backed up by the facts. Tipping reports that roughly 65 percent of Mainers above the age of 15 are either working or are unemployed and actively seeking work. The remaining 35 percent is composed almost entirely of the retired, those who care for children or other family members, those pursuing an education or training, and those with a disability.

Listen to LePage's comments in the video below, via YouTube's MEpolitics:

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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47 Percent Bangor Daily News Governor Maine Mike Tipping Mitt Romney Paul Lepage Tea Party Video