I supported Eliot Cutler for governor in 2010 because I thought he had the right temperament for governor and the best chance of beating then-candidate Paul LePage.

Since then, I’ve come to reconsider my position on both of those arguments.

It’s clear Cutler has no chance of being more than a spoiler if he stays in the race this year. Mike Michaud is a much stronger candidate than the 2010 Democratic nominee, and incredibly, Paul LePage’s small but passionate base of support remains as strong as ever. Poll after poll confirms this is really a two-way race between LePage and Michaud; Cutler’s support has plummeted into the teens.

But my bigger concern stems from what I’ve actually observed from Cutler himself in recent months.

In public appearances and news stories – most recently in this paper’s coverage of Michaud’s endorsement by one of the country’s leading pro-choice advocacy groups – Cutler has demonstrated an aggressive temper, a thin skin and a willingness to throw nonpartisan groups like the Sierra Club, Maine Conservation Voters, Equality Maine and now NARAL under the bus for having the audacity to endorse a candidate they thought was more deserving in Michaud (“Pro-choice group’s endorsement of Michaud draws criticism from Cutler,” March 28).

Worse, Cutler’s campaign has resorted to personal insults and distortions that tell me nothing about what he’ll do to improve Maine. They sound an awful lot like the angry rhetoric of another politician: Gov. Paul LePage – who, as it happens, is the only person who benefits when Cutler attacks Michaud.

If Eliot Cutler truly has the best interests of Maine at heart, he’ll step aside and spare us four more years of LePage. If he’s unwilling to do that, the least he can do is stop being so negative. We’ve had enough of that under LePage.

David Newman
Cape Neddick