AUGUSTA, Maine (TheBlaze/AP) -- The often-brash governor of Maine used crude language Thursday to express his frustration over the state budget, targeting a Democratic opponent with a sexually vulgar phrase to describe how he's taking advantage of the people.
Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, made the remark about Sen. Troy Jackson to journalists from two television stations and one newspaper Thursday. When one television reporter responded that people were bound to find the remark offensive, the governor repeated a variation of it.
The governor spoke to reporters after announcing he would veto a two-year budget bill.
In this April 19, 2013 file photo, Gov. Paul LePage speaks at a news conference at the State House in Augusta, Maine. LePage used a sexually vulgar phrase Thursday, June 20, 2013, to describe how Democrat state Sen. Troy Jackson is taking advantage of the people. LePage's comment came as he has said he intends to veto a two-year budget because it includes tax increases. Credit: AP
His remarks were targeted at Jackson, the assistant Democratic leader, who criticized the governor's veto announcement and call for 60-day reprieve to negotiate a new budget as a political stunt. Jackson said the Legislature had enough votes to override the veto and that there was no need for lawmakers to negotiate with LePage.
LePage responded that Jackson "claims to be for the people, but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline."
He added, "He is bad. He has no brains, and he has a black heart."
Sen. Seth Goodall, Democratic leader, criticized the governor's attack.
Gov. Paul LePage delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at the State House in Augusta, Maine. Credit: AP
"Mainers expect more from our leaders. There should never be room for personal attacks and insults on someone's character," Goodall said. "Language like this is offensive, no matter who says it. We expect more in our schools. We expect more at home around our kitchen table. And surely we expect more from our governor."
LePage, who was elected in 2010 when tea party support, is known for speaking his mind. He once told the NAACP to "kiss my butt," and he compared the IRS to the Gestapo.
He wasn't of a mind to retract his comments when WMTW reporter Paul Merrill told him others might find them offensive. "Good. It ought to, because I've been taking it for two years," he said.