Westbrook, MAINE – During last night’s Portland Press Herald gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate for governor Shawn Moody ‘forgot’ his previous positions, ran away from others, and displayed a concerning lack of knowledge on key policy issues. To help keep track of Moody’s missteps, the Maine Democratic Party is providing the following fact check:
While Janet Mills made it clear where she stands on these important issues and the policy surrounding them, Shawn Moody showed that he can't be trusted and simply isn't qualified to lead our state.
When asked directly about whether he believed in climate change last night, Shawn Moody dodged the question and talked about a public-private partnership his business had with an environmental organization five years ago. When pressed on the issue after avoiding the question again, he said,“I can remember when the climate...when continents broke off and drifted...for anyone to say in this day and age that anyone is in denial about climate change is just such a ridiculous statement—does it even bear a response?”
But Moody’s comment directly contradicts his position during the Republican primary when he said he did not believe in climate change science. Even just last week, he said it was “important not to overreact” to the issue.
Later in the debate, when asked about his specific plan to address climate change, Shawn Moody failed to give any specific proposals, but suggested that “too often we have, you know, climatologists, and scientists, and, like the Gulf of Maine, but they’re not talking with the fisherman and the lobster industry.”
In response, Janet Mills pointed out that the Gulf of Maine Research Institute has a long history of talking with these affected communities while conducting their research.
WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE AND ABORTION
When asked about whether he would support allowing Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physicians Assistants (PAs) performing abortions, and whether or not he would support restrictive and burdensome regulations on facilities that provide them, Moody’s answers were all over the map and inconsistent with his previously stated positions.
He said he would not support allowing NPs and PAs to perform abortions on their own. When it comes to imposing additional restrictions on facilities that provide abortions, Moody said he “would have to look at that bill” and “look at the summary section.” He also said he would need to go speak to “whoever proposed the bill” and talk to “the other side” to make sure he understood the issue.
But hearing from the “other side” was not something Moody said he was open to when he ran an ad touting his anti-abortion credentials, and it’s not what he says on his website. Moody has chosen to align himself with Maine’s Right to Life Committee, an extreme anti-abortion group that has pushed for harsh restrictions on access to abortions by supporting policies like mandatory waiting periods.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND LONG-TERM CARE FOR SENIORS
When asked what the state should do to address our aging population with regard to housing, health care, and long-term care, Shawn Moody went on a winding monologue about repatriating young Mainers and the trouble immigrant communities have getting work permits. Yes, really.
Janet Mills, meanwhile, answered the question directly, saying she would issue the voter-approved housing bonds that have been sitting on the Governor’s desk for three years.
STUDENT DEBT AND EDUCATION
When asked about what he would do as governor to help address the overwhelming student debt facing many young Mainers, Shawn Moody had to be pressed three separate times by the moderator and panelists to answer the question. But Moody didn’t and instead talked about the what the private sector could do and stressed the importance of keeping tuition low. But recently, the UMaine Board of Trustees, of which Shawn Moody is a member, voted to raise tuition on Maine students for the first time in six years. Moody voted to raise tuition last year before he started running for office and then voted against it this year in the middle of his campaign.
On immigration, Shawn Moody said, “What we’ve done to our immigrant population borders on inhumane” as he spoke of the barriers immigrants face as they wait for the proper work authorizations from the federal government. This is the same Shawn Moody who defended President Trump's policy of separating children from their families. It’s also the same Shawn Moody who said during the Republican primary that he wanted to send American troops returning home from war down to the border to protect America.
The bottom line is that when it comes to the issues and policies that affect the lives of Mainers everyday, Shawn Moody was unable to demonstrate a clear vision or the knowledge required to lead our state. Mainers just can’t trust that Shawn Moody is ready to lead, and his performance in this debate made that clear.