Instead of fighting for middle class families, New York’s Carl Paladino and Maine’s Paul LePage have turned their heated campaign rhetoric into threats of physical harm – against reporters. Paladino was caught on camera telling a New York Post reporter, “I’ll take you out, buddy” and LePage told a Maine Public Broadcasting Network reporter that he was “about ready to punch” her colleague.
For the second time in as many weeks, Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage has generated headlines around the country. Two weeks ago he apologized for swearing at a reporter at a news conference, and storming out of another. And now LePage is saying he regrets making some remarks about President Obama this past weekend. The candidate’s temperament continues to be an issue in the five-way race, as has LePage’s relationship with the media.
For a man who prides himself on telling it like it is, Paul LePage, by his own admission, has said some things that he’d like to take back. He now regrets making this comment to a group of fishermen at a Republican forum in Brooksville over the weekend.
“And 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.’”
The comments were picked up by new outlets around the country, including by the New York Times. This comes on the heels of two highly-publicized news conferences called by LePage two weeks ago.
One at the State House abruptly ended when LePage stormed out after being asked about his wife’s residency in Florida. At the other, LePage swore at a reporter when asked about his children’s tuition status in Florida.
LePage later apologized to several reporters and described the day as a disaster. But this week, as he prepared to tape a television interview with MPBN’s Jennifer Rooks, LePage made a comment about MPBN’s A.J. Higgins, one of the reporters who pressed him for answers at the Augusta news conference.
“I’m about ready to punch A.J. Higgins,” LePage told Rooks.
Jennifer Rooks: “Don’t punch him.”
Paul LePage: “Oh, come on.”
Jennifer Rooks: “No, no.”