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LePage Call for Trump "Authoritarian Power" Draws Rebukes

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is drawing fire for his comments calling for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to show the country "authoritarian power." (Office of Gov. LePage)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage is drawing fire for his comments calling for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to show the country "authoritarian power." (Office of Gov. LePage)
October 12, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage is drawing plenty of fire this week for his latest comments, saying the nation "needs Donald Trump to show the country some authoritarian power."

The comments embracing Trump's tough talk came during an interview on a conservative talk program on WVOM radio. Mike Tipping, communications director for the Maine People's Alliance, said this isn't the first time LePage has followed controversial remarks by Republican nominee Trump with some of his own.

"Well, you don't expect the best judgment from Gov. LePage," Tipping said, "but you'd think that right now, when everyone is denouncing Trump for bragging about sexually assaulting women, this would not be the time that you announce that he becomes America's dictator."

LePage explained that what he's calling for is a return to the rule of law. The ACLU of Maine responded by saying the Constitution was written to protect Americans from the very thing LePage is calling for: an all-powerful, overreaching government.

Tipping noted a distinction between a strong leader and an authoritarian, and in his view, that seems to be lost both on Maine's governor and the GOP nominee.

"I think this is part of an ongoing series of attacks by Trump, and by LePage, on women, on people of color, and in many ways on the underlying values of our nation and government," Tipping said. "And that's what this endorsement of authoritarianism is."

LePage is expected to campaign with Trump on Saturday in Bangor.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME