Gov. Paul LePage is taking some heat for remarks he made today about Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson.
"Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he's the first one to give to the people without providing vaseline," LePage said.
LePage made the remarks after an Augusta anti-tax rally, during which he said he would veto the bipartisan state budget bill.
Jackson, an Aroostook County Democrat, gave his party's response to the Republican governor's budget proposal this afternoon.
In an interview with a WMTW-TV reporter, LePage said Jackson "sits up in Aroostook County and does nothing." He went on to say, "People like Troy Jackson - they ought to go back in woods and cut trees and let somebody with a brain come down here and do some work."
He also said Jackson "has no brains" and "a black heart," according to the Portland Press Herald.
In a statement, Maine House Speaker Mark Eves said the governor's remarks hit a new low. "This sort of outrageous and obscene language has no place in State Government. Governor LePage's language today crosses a new line -- even for him," he writes. "I would not want my children to hear these vulgar comments from the highest official in our state on the evening news."
Maine Democratic Party Chair Ben Grant also issued the following statement:
"Nothing Paul LePage says anymore surprises me, though it does continue to sadden me about the embarrassment he has caused to this great state. Paul LePage is a classless bully who is unfit to hold public office of any kind. This is the chief executive officer of our State, the highest elected official, the public face of Maine, and he's making comments that any 14-year-old would know are out of line."
"Sen. Troy Jackson is one of the hardest working and most respected legislators anywhere. Jackson is always there for Mainers and never forgets who elected him and where he came from. Not only did Governor LePage insult Jackson personally, he went even further to insult loggers and all of Aroostook County. Hard working Mainers know who is on their side and it certainly isn't the current resident of the Blaine House."