Maine Gov. Talks Tough With Able-Bodied Unemployed: ‘Get Off the Couch and Get a Job!’

Maine Gov. Paul LePage isn’t known to tip-toe around controversial issues. And he lived up to his reputation on Sunday while speaking at the Maine GOP convention. There, he talked tough on welfare reform, and even called out able-bodied workers abusing the system: “Get off the couch and get yourself a job!”

The boisterous political figure made welfare reform a staple of his speech. “I understand welfare because I lived it,” he said. “I understand the difference between a want and a need. The Republican Party promised in 2010 that it would bring welfare change. We must deliver on this promise. …  We need to get it under control.”

“There is such a thing as a free lunch, but you’re picking up the tab!” he said later, pointing his finger.

“Maine’s welfare program is cannibalizing the rest of state government,” he added. “I am compassionate and committed to our children, our elderly, and our disabled. But to all you able-bodied people out there: get off the couch and get yourself a job!”

According tot he Bangor Daily News, he received a standing ovation for that line.

You can watch the entire, rousing speech below (which at one point was interrupted by someone calling for a medic). The money quotes start around the 14:20 mark: