It’s almost not news anymore when we hear that Gov. LePage said something outrageous, but some statements can’t be ignored.

LePage has decided to make a big deal out of a Forbes magazine ranking, which puts his state in dead last place for business climate.

Instead of using his bully pulpit to tell the world where Forbes got it wrong and make the case for all the great things about Maine that the magazine missed, LePage has been using the negative ranking as justification for his anti-welfare agenda.

That is bad enough, but LePage took it further when he described a conversation with Forbes, in which the editor explained why Maine got such a bad rating.

“They said, ‘You made some efforts and you’ve done some good things in some areas, but you absolutely ignored the structural problems.’ Which are our welfare and our energy. We did nothing,” LePage told a crowd in Franklin County last week.

“And they said, ‘Unless you get your fiscal house in order, and you address energy, you address work force development, and you get yourself (so) that you spend within your means, you’re in the cellar.”‘ The only problem with that description is that Forbes editor Kurt Badenhausen said the conversation never happened. In a blog post titled “Maine Gov. LePage stretches the truth of Forbes ranking” he wrote “Sorry, governor, I didn’t say any of those things. Welfare? Not even part of the rankings.”

This wasn’t a slip of the lip or a statement made in the heat of the moment. The governor of Maine stood on a stage and created a negative impression of his own state’s reputation. Instead of trying to sell the world on Maine as a place that is “open for business,” he created a bad image for the state and falsely attributed it to one of the country’s leading business magazines.

It looks like LePage was trying to use the Forbes rating to build momentum for an ill-conceived and devastating proposal to restructure MaineCare, which has been dumped on the Legislature with little study and a shaky legal foundation.

Life is tough enough that Gov. LePage does not have to invent problems for Maine. The governor is entitled to his political agenda, but he should stick to the facts when he is trying to further it.