Posts Tagged: LePage

Oct 10

Is LePage In Trouble In Maine?

For Republican gubernatorial nominee Paul LePage (R), the last month has not been lacking in media exposure. The mayor of Waterville, whose recent controversial comments and actions have repeatedly made the rounds in both state and national media circles, finds himself in a suddenly tightening race, as recent poll numbers raise the question of whether his outspoken style is proving to be a liability.

A Tea Party favorite with a compelling personal narrative, the outspoken LePage surged to victory in a crowded Republican primary and began the general election in a good position, sporting an early lead over Democratic rival and former state House Speaker Libby Mitchell.

But in early Sept., video of LePage storming out of a press conference and addressing a reporter in profane language was widely covered, sparking criticism from opponents. Earlier this week, a new video emerged, in which LePage said he would tell Pres. Obama to “go to hell” if elected governor.

“As your governor, you’re going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page, saying ‘Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell,’” LePage told a group of fisherman at Republican forum on Sunday.

Opponents once again pounced on LePage’s comments. “Mr. LePage’s comments about the president and the threats he directed at a reporter have no place in this campaign or the state of Maine,” said Mitchell, in a statement.

“Am I politically correct all the time? No. Maybe it’s time to have people say bluntly what’s going on,” LePage told AP on Wednesday. “The fact of the matter is that I haven’t learned how to speak out of both sides of my mouth yet.”

Hotline On Call

Sep 10

Starting Lineup: Lassoing LePage

Good Tuesday morning and welcome to the Starting Lineup. On tap today: Democrats try to move numbers in Maine after Paul LePage‘s (R) testy presser last week, attention shifts to the Senate for a politically charged vote this afternoon, and a “compromise” gap among voters.

Remember The Maine: Are Democrats worried about losing a governorship in Maine, which hasn’t elected a Republican to head the state since 1992? From their actions, absolutely.

Democrats are going after Waterville Mayor and gubernatorial nominee Paul LePage (R) following his storming out of a press conference last week. The DGA is airing an ad on Tuesday that hits LePage on several issues and seeks to paint LePage as out of the Maine mainstream.

“Here in Maine we believe in hard work, a fair shake and protecting people’s basic rights,” the ad, provided to Hotline On Call, says. “And Paul LePage? He says our anti-discrimination law, the Maine Human Rights Act, ought to be rolled back. He believes abortion should be illegal in nearly every case and opposes a woman’s right to choose. And he supports teaching creationism in our public schools.”

The ad is the first the DGA has aired since the press conference where LePage lost his temper and stormed out of the room. Democrats believe that the press conference incident could be a huge boost to Libby Mitchell‘s (D) campaign. The message of the ad is clear: LePage isn’t a moderate Republican in the mold of Sens. Olympia Snowe (R) and Susan Collins (R).

Most polling on the race has shown LePage with a significant lead, but almost all of those were conducted before the press conference. It’s cheap to advertise in Maine, so the ad is likely a move by the DGA to see if it can boost Mitchell’s prospects and bring Maine back in the Democratic fold. But when we’re talking about Maine being a big priority for the DGA, you know it’s going to be a big year for GOP gubernatorial candidates… The DGA ad:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Attention will shift away from the campaign trail briefly today, as the Senate takes up the annual military authorization bill at around 2:15. The bill contains 2 controversial provisions on hot-button political issues. One would allow the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and another that would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children.

Here’s the kicker: At this point, it is still unknown if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has the votes to get the measure through. Critics say the immigration provision is a political ploy aimed at shoring up Hispanic support for Reid in his tough re-election bid against Sharron Angle (R).

Reid needs at least 1 Republican and a united Democratic caucus to help him overcome a GOP filibuster. At this point, he doesn’t appear to have it. Watch these senators as the voting takes place: Susan Collins (R-ME), George Voinovich (R-OH) and Jim Webb (D-VA). (Olympia Snowe (R-ME), has already said that she’ll oppose the measure.)

Hotline On Call

Sep 10

LePage Keeps Leads in Maine

A new Maine Poll finds Paul LePage (R) maintaining a sizable lead over Libby Mitchell (D) in the race for governor, 38% to 25%, with 21% still undecided and 16% for three other “unenrolled” candidates.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire