Lying Gov. Paul LePage Claims He Misspoke, Meant Trump Should Be Authoritative, Not Authoritarian (VIDEO)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has been forced into an embarrassing backtrack. Talking about his party’s Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an interview with Maine’s WVOM radio on Tuesday, he used the word “authoritarian.” The next day he had to admit that the word he meant to use was “authoritative.”

“Authoritarian” means a person who seeks to enforce their rule. The word is often used to describe dictators and tyrants. “Authoritative” could be used to describe someone with broad, deep, reliable knowledge. So using it to describe Donald Trump would have made the governor wrong anyway.

The slip put a dampener on Le Page’s fiery show of support for Trump, an increasingly rare event in itself, while many senior Republicans are rushing to disown him. CNN Politics and other news sources originally took his words at face value when they reported on the interview.

The CNN article quoted him as saying:

“We need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law.”

When he met with journalists to amend his words, the governor also asserted that Trump would do a better job than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton at reducing the national debt. When pressed on Trump’s economic policy, he showed a grasp of the subject that was anything but authoritative, saying:

“I don’t know enough about them. I’m just campaigning.”

After the clarification, Le Page is said to have blamed the reporters for making too much of the error.

This is not the first time he has attracted controversy, or rounded on the media. Speaking in August about Maine’s war on drugs, he said:

“The enemy right now… are people of colour or people of Hispanic origin.”

These words prompted a chorus of disapproval and accusations of racism. He later justified them by claiming to have compiled a binder of drug arrests in Maine, stating:

“90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ringed binder, are black and Hispanic people.”

When challenged to provide the binder, he replied:

“Let me tell you something: Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers. You ought to look into that.”

He then ended the meeting abruptly and walked out, with this parting shot to reporters:

“You make me so sick.”

Watch this video to see and hear what he said to one of his accusers, in a furious, foul mouthed rant.

Featured image: Donkey Hotey via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License