June 24, 2013

LePage remark a GOP liability?

His blunt style may please the tea party, but moderate Republicans on the same ticket could lose votes.

By ALANNA DURKIN The Associated Press

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Brian Duff, political science professor, on Gov. Paul LePage, above: “For a sizable chunk of the electorate, his blunt talk is not a problem and is probably an asset. He speaks from his heart.”

John Ewing/File photo

"People are set in stone with their political agendas," Martin said in Portland on Friday.

But the same style that attracts supporters could affect LePage's leadership for the rest of his term, Duff said. His loud criticism of the state budget and his plans to veto it grate on both Democrats and GOP lawmakers, who worked together to craft a bipartisan, compromise budget that was acceptable to both sides, he said.

It could cause some Republicans to vote against the governor and join Democrats in overriding his veto of the budget in an effort to distance themselves from him politically, Brewer said.

"Republicans," Duff said, "are frustrated. The big question would be is it going to frustrate somebody enough that somebody will run against him in the (2014 Republican gubernatorial) primary."

LePage himself may take away that option. On Friday, he said he's mulling a bid for the 2nd Congressional District seat held by Democrat Mike Michaud, who recently took the first steps toward launching his own gubernatorial campaign in Maine next year.

LePage said he's also considering getting out of politics altogether, but he has already starting raising money for his re-election campaign.


Associated Press writer Clarke Canfield contributed to this report from Portland.


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