Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is giving the apology thing one more shot.
A day after he landed in hot water — again — for warning that the IRS will be the “Gestapo” of the future under the health care reform law — again — the AP reports LePage will make what is at least his third stab at apologizing for comments.
From the AP:
LePage on Friday issued a formal apology for his “insensitivity to the word” after a face-to-face meeting with representatives of several Jewish groups that had complained.
LePage hopes his apology, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its airing on his weekly radio address, will bring to an end the weeklong furor. It started when he described the Internal Revenue Service as the “new Gestapo” while criticizing President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
LePage said it was “never my intent to insult or to be hurtful to anyone, but rather express what can happen by overreaching government.”
• The story began on July 7 when LePage — a tea party-leaning Republican — used his official weekly radio address to warn that the Supreme Court ruling upholding the health care law would turn the IRS into “the new Gestapo.”
That prompted criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and an organization representing IRS employees.
• Apparently caught off guard by the outrage, LePage offered his first apology to a Maine TV station on July 9.
“It was never intended to offend anyone,” he said on camera. “And if someone’s offended, then they ought to be goddamn mad at the federal government.”
• On July 12, LePage was asked again about the July 9 remarks by an alt-weekly. That’s when he expressed regret at offending anyone — but doubled down on the claim that the IRS will kill people like the Gestapo in Nazi Germany did.
“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.”