Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) on Thursday simultaneously apologized for and doubled down on comments he made last week equating the IRS with the Gestapo.
“The Holocaust is probably a bad example. Americans should not forget that it did happen,” he said. “I apologize to the Jewish Americans who feel offended. I also apologize to the Japanese Americans who were put in prison during World War II and I also apologize to those people who were accused of being Communists under McCarthyism, because that’s not the American way.”
But LePage still believes the IRS is on track to become the new Gestapo.
“What I’m trying to say is that the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated,” he said. “Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad. Yet.”
LePage explained that the connection between the Holocaust and “Obamacare” comes from what he called “rationing” contained in the law:
“Do you want to know why?” LePage said when asked by the Seven Days reporter if he really worrys the IRS will kill people under the health care reform. “Rationing. They ration health care in Canada and that’s why a lot of people in Canada come down to the U.S.”
Here’s the audio:
This is the second time LePage has tried to apologize for the Gestapo remark. The first time, he also pressed the point that the modern Gestapo is coming.
“It was never intended to offend anyone,” LePage told Maine’s WMTW last week. “And if someone’s offended, then they ought to be goddamn mad at the federal government.”
The Maine Democratic Party says LePage’s comments “crossed a threshold.”
“I can’t say it more simply than this: Governor LePage’s fitness to hold office must now be seriously and openly questioned,” state Democratic Party chair Ben Grant said in a statement.