In case you missed it, the Bangor Daily News Editorial Board this weekend criticized the Maine Republican Party for its “deflection and excuses” over Paul LePage’s recent threat to “deck” a Maine Democratic Party staffer, writing, “It should be pretty easy to see that former Gov. Paul LePage was in the wrong.”
While the Maine GOP tried to excuse LePage’s poor behavior by saying “there are few Maine elected officials who have faced as many threats as Paul LePage,” the Editorial Board quickly answered that “there are also few Maine elected officials who have dished out as many threats as Paul LePage”. The Editorial Board pointed to LePage’s expletive-laced voicemail, his comment that he wants to duel Drew Gattine, and his joke that he’d like to shoot BDN cartoonist George Danby, correctly noting there is no place for threats and aggression in American politics ever, “no matter which party is involved.”
“We can understand how someone who has received threats themselves, particularly in the current political environment, could be uneasy about people approaching them in public,” the Editorial Board wrote. “But we’d also expect that the person would do their best to avoid doing the same thing to others, and to de-escalate annoying situations rather than bring threats of violence into the mix.”
The situation, the Editorial Board wrote, “does point to the hollowness seen in the GOP response” and that the “latest incident shows once again that, for a candidate who is supposedly learning and softened, LePage still sounds a lot like his old self.”
This is not the first time this campaign cycle that LePage’s claims that he has changed have been rejected by the state’s largest papers. In March, the Press Herald editorial page editor said “the new Paul LePage looks a lot like the old one,” after he repeated one of his most famous broken promises from an earlier campaign. Just last month, the BDN editorial board said “Meet the new LePage, same as the old LePage” after he doubled down on some of the most harmful policies of his eight years in office.