LePage touts accomplishments, urges Maine GOP to fight off ‘blue wave’
Outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage delivered what is likely to be his final major speech Saturday before term limits force him out of office in January, proclaiming to hundreds of Republicans gathered in Augusta that any of the four Republican candidates for governor would be his worthy replacement.
LePage’s comments came as the Republican State Convention turned to full-on campaign mode Saturday, when the theme was explosive condemnations of Democratic principles and candidates who tout them.
Organizers said more than 1,500 people attended the annual convention at the Augusta Civic Center, where there was little official business to do but lots of resistance to the notion that midterm elections usually hurt the party of the sitting president. They dismissed conventional wisdom that backlash against Republican President Donald Trump would trigger a “blue wave” of Democratic victories in November, believing instead that 2018 will be an exception.
“I hope that at the end of this day, we will be energized and we will all go out to be at the polls in June and November to make sure the next governor of Maine is a Republican,” said LePage, whose address was a mix of touting his accomplishments and self-deprecating humor.
“I’m going to try to get out of my shyness and my shell and tell you what I really feel,” said LePage, who is nationally famous for his gruff tone and open-throated attacks on political adversaries. “It’s been hard these eight years, holding back.”
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