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Christie Visit A Reminder Maine Can Do Better Than the Embarrassment of LePage

Christie Visit A Reminder Maine Can Do Better Than the Embarrassment of LePage

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Today, RGA Chair Christie will visit Maine to campaign for Governor Paul LePage.
Today, RGA Chair Christie will visit Maine to campaign for Governor Paul LePage.

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Published by: Democratic Governors Association on May 06, 2014
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TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Danny Kanner, DGA Communications Director
DATE: May 7, 2013
RE: Christie Visit A Reminder Maine Can Do Better Than the Embarrassment of

Today, RGA Chair Christie will visit Maine to campaign for Governor Paul LePage. As
if they didn't suffer through it enough on a regular basis, Christie's visit will remind
Mainers that LePage is a reckless, divisive ideologue whose antics have made him a
national embarrassment.

Like LePage, Christie is famous for all the wrong reasons. He's made headlines for
berating teachers, veterans, and reporters. His administration's abuse of power in the
Bridgegate scandal has caught the attention of federal prosecutors,
investigative committees, late night talk show hosts, and every news outlet in America.
But that's not exactly the kind of attention LePage needs.

He's already compared the Affordable Care Act to the Holocaust and the IRS to the
Gestapo, said he'd like to blow up Maine's biggest newspaper, told the NAACP to kiss his
butt, and even claimed that President Obama hates white people.

Because of Christie's visit, Mainers will be reminded that they can do better.

They need a governor who will work in a civil way with Republicans, Democrats, and
independents to deliver real results. They need a governor who will work across the aisle
to expand access to health care, improve education, protect the environment, and
strengthen the middle class. Simply put, they need someone who will make them
proud. That's exactly what they'll get in Mike Michaud; it's what he's done his entire

Unfortunately for the people of Maine, LePage is incapable of delivering that kind of
steady leadership. And Chris Christie seems committed to reminding them of it.

Here's the background on how LePage and Christie have been embarrassments to
the people of their states:

Governor LePage:

2012: LePage Called the Maine Press Liars. LePage said, “The press. Reading
newspapers in the state of Maine is like paying somebody to tell you lies,” in March 2012
to a student “who asked him what he didn‟t like about his job during his appearance as
keynote speaker at a Career Conversations event at Waterville Junior High School.”
[Bangor Daily News, 3/30/13]

LePage Ordered Administration to not Talk to Maine Press. In June 2013 LePage
ordered his administration to stop speaking to the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec
Journal and Waterville Sentinel. [Bangor Daily News, 3/30/13]

HEADLINE: “LePage Says He‟d Like to Blow up Press Herald.” “Gov. Paul LePage
made his dislike of the Portland Press Herald abundantly clear Friday while sitting in a
fighter jet simulator: He said from the cockpit that he would like to blow up the
newspaper‟s building.” [Portland Press Herald, 8/9/13]

LePage Compared the Health Reform Law to Holocaust. In 2012 the New York
Times noted that LePage “compared the health care reform law to the Holocaust,” yet
“signed a budget bill in May that will reduce or eliminate existing Medicaid coverage for
21,000 people.” [New York Times, 7/18/12]

…By Likening the IRS to the Gestapo. “„We the people have been told there is no
choice,‟ LePage said, referring to the individual mandate portion of the [health care
reform] law. „You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.‟”
[Bangor Daily News, 7/9/12]

LePage Said 47% of Able-Bodied Mainers “Don‟t Work.” Bangor Daily News‟ Mike
Tipping reported on a recording of Governor LePage: “‟About 47% of able-bodied
people in the state of Maine don‟t work,‟ said LePage. On the recording you can hear a
member of the audience ask „what?‟ LePage repeats himself: „About 47%. It‟s really
bad.‟” [Bangor Daily News Tipping Point Blog, 10/22/13]

LePage Supported 12 Year Olds Being Able to Work in Maine. The Portland Press
reported, “Gov. Paul LePage told attendees of the 73rd annual Maine Agricultural Trades
Show… that 12-year-olds should be allowed to work in Maine.” The Bangor Daily News
reported that LePage said “I‟m all for not allowing a 12-year-old to work 40 hours… But
a 12-year-old working eight to 10 hours a week or a 14-year-old working 12 to 15 hours a
week is not bad.” [Portland Press Herald, 1/8/14; Bangor Daily News, 12/2/13]

LePage Reported as Saying President Obama “Hates White People.” The Portland
Press Herald reported, “Gov. Paul LePage told a group of Republicans last week that
President Obama „hates white people,‟ according to two state lawmakers who say they
heard the remark directly. The governor made the comment during a Maine Republican
Party fundraiser on Aug. 12… The lawmakers, both Republicans, confirmed the
comment when asked by a Portland Press Herald reporter but asked that their names be
withheld for fear of political retribution.” [Portland Press Herald,8/20/13]

LePage To NAACP: “Kiss My Butt.” LePage said “Tell them to kiss my butt,” in
January 2011 “to reporters in response to suggestions from NAACP members and others
that his decision not to attend ceremonies honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was part
of a negative pattern.” [Bangor Daily News, 3/30/13]

LePage Accused Lawmaker of Giving “to the People Without Providing
Vaseline.” The Bangor Daily News reported LePage “said a Democratic lawmaker, Sen.
Troy Jackson of Aroostook County, „claims to be for the people but he‟s the first one to
give it to the people without providing Vaseline.‟ LePage also said that Jackson has a
„black heart‟ and that he should go back in the woods and cut trees „and let someone with
a brain come down here and do some good work.‟” [Bangor Daily News, 6/20/13]

LePage Called Independent Lawmakers “Idiots.” LePage said “You guys, you‟re
idiots and you‟re just as bad if not worse than those other guys,” in January 2013 when
“comparing independent lawmakers to Democrats during a meeting with three
independent legislators on alternate approaches to balancing the state budget.” [Bangor
Daily News, 3/30/13]

Governor Christie:

Gov. Chris Christie Called William Brown, A Former Navy SEAL, An „Idiot‟
During A Town Hall, As He Was Being Escorted Out. „The most-heated town hall
clash of the year started today with a shouting match, drove Gov. Chris Christie to call a
vocal opponent to the proposed Rutgers Camden-Rowan merger an „idiot,‟ and ended
with a stern talking-to by police. Just four questions in, Christie called on William
Brown, a 34-year-old law school student and veteran from Mt. Laurel… Brown, a
Democrat who ran an unsuccessfully for Assembly last year, says he‟s a Navy Seal who
served in Iraq. As he testified before the Rutgers Board of Governors last month, he
argued the Christie-sanctioned plan to rebrand the South Jersey campus under the Rowan
name would rob students of opportunities afforded by Rutgers‟ reputation. The
Republican governor began to explain that current students would still graduate with
degrees from Rutgers. But Brown shouted from audience: „What about my son? What
about my neighbors? What about my friends?‟ „Listen we‟re not going to get into a
debate here, ok?‟ Christie said … The exchange continued with Christie‟s amplified
voice booming from the speakers and Brown yelling up at him from his seat in the back
row of the fire hall … An audience clinging to every word dissolved into applause,
following by a quintessential Christie sendoff: „Let me tell you something after you
graduate from law school you conduct yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear end is
going to be thrown in jail, idiot.‟ … That‟s when township police escorted Brown
outside, with reporters and photographers trailing behind.‟ [New Jersey Star-
Ledger, 3/8/12]

Gov. Chris Christie „Has Gotten Into Heated Exchanges With Residents‟ At Other
Town Halls. „While most questions at the once or twice-weekly town halls are friendly,
Christie has gotten into heated exchanges with residents, particularly on the issue of
teacher compensation. At his 15th town hall in 2010 — he's up to 71 now — Christie
tangled with Keith Chaudruc, a Livingston elementary school teacher from Madison.
Christie asked a trooper to bring him closer to the stage where he pointed his finger at
him until he was ushered out of the room by a trooper. „It‟s his playground,‟ Chaudruc
said at the time. „He holds the ball.‟‟ [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 3/12/12]

Gov. Chris Christie Apologized To A Teacher Who „Nearly Didn‟t Attend His
Latest Town-Hall Meeting To Ask Him A Question Because He Scares Her.‟ „Gov.
Chris Christie apologized Monday to a public-school teacher who said she nearly didn‟t
attend his latest town-hall meeting to ask him a question because he scares her. The
second-grade teacher — who left immediately after the 10-minute exchange and didn‟t
want to share her name with reporters — said she brought her two children and dog to the
gymnasium in the Archdiocesan Youth Retreat Center in this Hudson County town
because she wanted her 3-year-old daughter to respect government and see the
governor.‟ [Daily Record, 3/20/12]

Refused To Apologize For Calling State Legislator “Numb Nuts” When Walking
Back Comments On Civil Rights. “Gov. Chris Christie has apologized for a remark he
made about civil rights but says he's not sorry for using a slang term to describe a
lawmaker who compared him to segregationist Southern governors. Christie, a
Republican, spoke Tuesday night during TownSquare Media's „Ask the Governor‟
program on radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM. He apologized to anyone offended by his
comment that people in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s would have been happier to
have the matter settled by public vote rather than by dying in the streets. He was
comparing civil rights to the fight for gay marriage. But he didn't back down Tuesday
from calling Democratic Assemblyman Reed Gusciora „numb nuts‟ after the lawmaker
compared him to former Govs. George Wallace, of Alabama, and Lester Maddox, of
Georgia. He says his late mother used the term.” [Associated Press, 2/1/12]

Christie: State Workers Should “Thank God That You Weren‟t Sick.” “New Jersey
Governor Chris Christie said the only payment state and municipal workers should get
for not being sick, is not being sick. Christie made the comments in a town hall meeting
last week in a swipe at Democrats in the state legislature over sick time for state and
municipal workers. … Christie wants to provide sick pay only to those who are sick. „If
you are fortunate enough not to get sick, the payment you get is not being sick,‟ the
governor said. „And you should get on your knees and thank God that you weren't sick,
and it shouldn't be all that complicated.‟” [Syracuse Post-Standard, 12/27/11]

Christie To Teacher Who Said She Be Paid More: “Well, You Know What Then,
You Don‟t Have To Do It.” “„Well, you know what then, you don‟t have to do it.‟ —
May 25, 2010, in response to a New Jersey teacher who said she should be paid more.”
[Politico, 2/3/12]

Christie Asked Reporters To “Take The Bat Out” On Democratic Lawmaker, A
Widowed Grandmother. “Using harsh terms to attack his critics has been a regular
feature of Gov. Chris Christie‟s 15 months in office, and Democratic officials, wary of
his and the voters‟ wrath, have usually offered only a muted response. But this week,
when Mr. Christie, a Republican, used violent imagery in talking about a Democratic
lawmaker — a widowed grandmother, to boot — Democrats saw an opening, criticizing
him en masse and demanding an apology. The episode began at a news conference on
Wednesday, when the governor brought up State Senator Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat
from Bergen County, who had accused him of hypocrisy. Mr. Christie said Ms. Weinberg
was the hypocrite, asking reporters, „Can you guys please take the bat out on her for
once?‟” [New York Times, 4/15/11]

Christie Launched Into Tirade When Confronted By Protesters At A Romney
Event. “Gov. Chris Christie delivered his strongest tirade yet against President Obama on
the campaign trail last night in support of Mitt Romney. And his motivation came from
an unlikely place. „Christie kills jobs!‟ an Occupy movement protester yelled in the most
dramatic of several flare-ups that ended with police escorting people out of Exeter High
School. „Really?‟ Christie said, his voice rising in mock surprise. The crowd cheered.
„Something's going to go down tonight, but it ain't going to be jobs, sweetheart,‟ he said,
launching into a rant intended to thrill voters ahead of tomorrow's primary. „See, there's
this confusion that's out there because if she was in Jersey, like these Jersey girls here,
she would know that we've created 60,000 private-sector jobs,‟ Christie said, standing
before a massive American flag backdrop. To the right of the stage, a calculator ticked
off the nation's growing deficit. „And if she wasn't so blinded by her Barack Obama-
induced anger, she'd know that American jobs are coming back when Mitt Romney is the
next president of the United States.‟” [Newark Star-Ledger, 1/9/12]

CNN Headline: “Combative Christie Is Back, Reporters Learn The Hard
Way” [CNN, 3/28/14]

CNN: Christie “Basically [Told] Journalists That He Didn't Care If They Liked His
Answers Or Not” Regarding Bridgegate. “The defiant and combative Chris Christie
that reporters knew from the past returned in full spring bloom on Friday, now that a
report he commissioned cleared him of wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge
lane closure controversy… He tightly managed Friday's news conference, basically
telling journalists that he didn't care if they liked his answers or not.” [CNN, 3/28/14]

Christie Interrupted A Reporter Asking About Bridgegate, Saying, “Can You Get
To It Already?” “A few minutes into his first news conference in more than two months,
New Jersey's Republican governor flashed his famous cantankerousness at suggestions he
was hiding something about the apparently politically motivated traffic jams last
September in Fort Lee. „Colorful,‟ he interjected as one journalist asked an extended
question. „Can you get to it already?‟” [CNN, 3/28/14]

Christie, When Asked By A Reporter About Bridgegate: “The Premise Of The
Question Is So Infirm I'm Not Going To Answer It.”“Later, he cut off a reporter to
complain she was wrong about the timing of events in December. „Stop," he said,
insisting that „you have to get the facts right if you're going to ask the question.‟ When
the journalist persisted, Christie cut in with „excuse me, excuse me‟ and then moved on
by saying „the premise of the question is so infirm I'm not going to answer it.‟”
[CNN, 3/28/14]

Christie, Regarding His Motivation For Not Speaking To Kelly: “I Don't Know
Whether You Can't Take Notes Or You're Not Listening, But For You To
Characterize My Last Answer That I Didn't Want To Ask Her Because I Didn't
Want To Know Is So Awful That It Is Beneath The Job You Hold.” “One particularly
heated exchange involved Bridget Kelly, his former deputy chief of staff whose now-
infamous email „Time for some Traffic problems in Fort Lee‟ propelled what was a little
noticed local controversy into an outright political crisis for the governor. Christie said he
canned Kelly for lying to him, and he decided against meeting with her before the firing
to avoid any perception of coercion or intimidation on the matter. When a reporter
persisted on the topic, Christie exploded at the premise of the question. „I don't know
whether you can't take notes or you're not listening, but for you to characterize my last
answer that I didn't want to ask her because I didn't want to know is so awful that it is
beneath the job you hold,‟ he said.” [CNN, 3/28/14]

Christie Stood Up And Tried To Grab Joy Behar‟s Notes At A Political Roast When
She Joked About The Bridgegate Scandal.“Joy Behar, the former co-host of „The
View,‟ was even more pointed. „When I first heard that he was accused of blocking off
three lanes on the bridge, I said, „What the hell is he doing, standing in the middle of the
bridge?‟‟ After another barb, Christie interrupted her. „This is a Byrne roast,‟ he said. He
stood up and tried to grab her notes. The audience laughed awkwardly. „Stop bullying
me,‟ Behar said as he sat down. Christie said something out of earshot and Behar
responded, „Why don‟t you get up here at the microphone instead of being such a
coward?‟ Christie stood up again and moved in front of the lectern as Behar retreated. 
„At least I don‟t get paid for this,‟ he said. Christie sat down and Behar continued, though
she was noticeably rattled. „I really don‟t know about the Presidency,‟ she said. „Let me
put it to you this way, in a way that you‟d appreciate: You‟re toast.‟” [New
Yorker, 4/14/14]

Asked About His Use Of Bullying Language Toward People Christie Said,
Sometimes Folks Have To Be Called Out And “I Am Who I Am. And I'm Not Going
To Change.” Johnson: “But don‟t you think using that type of verbiage is really
disrespectful? And speaking from one parent to another, how is that a good example for
our children?” Christie: “Sometimes, you know, folks have to know that if people act in a
certain way that they'll be called out on it. And using direct and blunt language is
something that I've done my whole life. It was the way my mother raised me, and so, you
know, there can be differences of opinion on that Kristine and I respect that but what I'll
tell you is, here's what the people of New Jersey will know. I am who I am. And I'm not
going to change. And I think their comfortable with the leadership I've provided over the
last four years in this question.” [New Jersey Gubernatorial Debate, 10/08/13]

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