Gov. Paul LePage reportedly said he would like to blow up a local newspaper company's building (Photo credit: AP).
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"It was a joke, folks!"
The Portland Press Herald fired back at Maine Gov. Paul LePage saying the governor has a "misguided sense of humor" after he said Friday he'd like to blow up the newspaper's building.
"That kind of a joke is irresponsible in this day and age, especially when it comes from the leader of our state," Press Herald Publisher Lisa DeSisto said.
LePage, a Republican, was participating in a fighter jet simulation and was sitting in the cockpit when he was asked what he would most like to do.
"I want to find the Portland Press Herald building and blow it up," he replied, according to the Bangor Daily News.
The Press Herald wrote afterward that LePage made an "offhand comment" in which he "threaten[ed] to blow up" their building.
LePage tweeted that his remark was not meant to be taken seriously.
"Threatened? It was a joke, folks!" he wrote.
A spokeswoman for LePage echoed that sentiment in an email to the Press Herald, saying the governor was obviously joking and responding to a question.
LePage has a history of making controversial and off-color remarks. In June, he told journalists that Democratic 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."
He continued, "He is bad. He has no brains, and he has a black heart."
And last year, LePage compared the IRS to the Gestapo.
"What I'm trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and frankly, I would never want to see that repeated," he said. "Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet."
When challenged by a reporter, LePage doubled down saying the IRS is undoubtedly "headed in that direction."
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