AUBURN — Gov. Paul LePage says his grandmother would’ve washed his mouth out with soap over some of the things he’s said, but he says even “bad words” are protected by the Constitution.

LePage acknowledged Thursday at an event sponsored by the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce that he doesn’t have “the cleanest mouth” and that his “vocabulary needs improvement.”

The Republican governor’s accomplishments have sometimes been overshadowed by his remarks, like telling the Portland NAACP chapter to “kiss my butt” and saying a senator gives it to people “without providing Vaseline.” He recently caused an uproar by leaving a profane message on a lawmaker’s voicemail.

LePage said his grandmother, if she’d been there, would “have a bar of soap (and) make me chew it, but it’s still protected speech.”

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