The Bangor Daily News has endorsed Eliot Cutler for governor, saying the independent candidate has “the skills, vision and detailed plans” to reform Maine government.

The newspaper praised Cutler’s proposals for trimming state government and said the candidate’s supposed drawbacks — that he made his career outside of the state and worked with Chinese businesses — are actually strengths.

The Bangor native’s work in Washington as an aide to former Sen. Edmund Muskie and in the Carter administration, and then as a founder of a law firm, give Cutler experience, the Bangor Daily News said, while the association with China will allow him to seek new markets for Maine products.

The paper also said Cutler can govern as an independent because voters will make clear to Republican and Democratic lawmakers that the Legislature and governor need to work together to find solutions for the state’s problems.

The Bangor Daily News said Republican Paul LePage has undermined his positions “with false promises and angry outbursts.”

“Saying you’ll frequently tell the president to ‘go to hell’ may play well with angry audiences, but it is not a smart policy for a state heavily dependent on federal revenues,” the paper said of LePage, adding that the Republican sounds as if he wants to “blow up state government.”

Democrat Libby Mitchell, the paper said, has made history in her legislative career, but her budget proposals “nibble around the edges” of the state’s spending problems.

Maine would “continue to limp from budget crisis to budget crisis” if she is elected, the editorial said.

By contrast, the paper said Cutler has offered specific plans to cut waste is social services and education budget, which together make up the bulk of state spending.

The Bangor Daily News acknowledged that Cutler is trailing both Mitchell and LePage in the polls and the paper urged voters to take another look before Election Day.

“They will see that Eliot Cutler is the only candidate with the vision and skills to match Maine’s challenges,” the editorial said. “As his campaign literature asks, ‘How about just voting for the best candidate?’ On Nov. 2, that candidate is Eliot Cutler.”

 

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: emurphy@pressherald.com