Gov. Paul LePage’s racially charged comments and profanity-filled message to a Westbrook lawmaker have been national news since the controversy erupted a week ago. It even made the news in the United Kingdom.

The resulting political pressure that mounted against LePage this week, and his statements that he might resign, led national and regional media to send reporting teams to the State House on Wednesday to, once again, bring the governor’s words to readers and viewers around the country.

Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, called it a disappointing situation as he stood in the Senate chamber Wednesday morning surrounded by microphones, television cameras and cellphones that streamed live videos of the drama to people watching across the state and beyond.

“We’ve got more cameras standing here in the Senate chamber talking about what’s going on with our governor than I’ve ever seen in my 10 years here in the State House,” Thibodeau said. “We’re disappointed. I think the people of the state of Maine are disappointed as to where we are.”

While it’s been the dominant news story in Maine all week, it also has been making regional and national news. LePage’s vulgar voice mail was aired on “Meet the Press” last Sunday as an example of the state of American politics. The story was on The Boston Globe’s front page Tuesday and Wednesday. It has made all the national network news programs and several cable news programs.

Portland Press Herald reporters and columnists have been interviewed about LePage by the BBC, NBC, MSNBC and The Washington Post.


On Tuesday and Wednesday, the suspense about LePage’s political future led several national news organizations – including The New York Times, ABC and NBC – to send reporters and camera crews to Augusta to keep up with the shifting story, and to replay the governor’s recent and past controversial statements to out-of-state audiences.

As it happens, having national reporters on the scene didn’t improve their chances of getting an interview with LePage. He did make a statement Wednesday, but only allowed a few select local television crews to be present. And the governor told them he is finished talking to the media.

An NBC crew arrived Tuesday and ran a national television piece that evening with the headline: “Tirade on Tape: Governor under Fire.” Like some other national media stories, NBC drew the comparison between LePage and tough-talking Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The clip shows LePage on stage with Trump during a recent campaign appearance in Maine, and shows him onstage voicing support for the businessman candidate.

“He’s a little bit shy,” LePage says of Trump, “but I’m working on him.”

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