Debate Descends Into Argument Over Who Has Disrespected The Presidency More
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010
The "front-runners in the" GOV race "took aim at one another" 10/11, "criticizing each other's records and campaign tactics during a live televised debate at Bangor High School's Peakes Auditorium."
Waterville Mayor Paul LePage (R) accused '84 SEN nominee/'90 ME-01 candidate/state Senate Pres./ex-state House Speaker Libby Mitchell (D) "of hypocrisy for mocking" George W. Bush, while atty/ex-OMB Assoc. Dir. for Natural Resources, Energy and Science/Jimmy Carter ex-aide Eliot Cutler (I) "criticized LePage's record as mayor of Waterville and Mitchell for the level of state borrowing during her time as Senate president"
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A "weeks-old sound bite" of LePage "saying he would tell" Pres. Obama "to 'go to hell' came up during the debate, but LePage "apologized for the remark" and then "lobbed new criticism" Mitchell. LePage: "I just saw a picture of Sen. Mitchell holding a picture of Bush, calling him a terrorist."
Mitchell: "I don't know what he's talking about"
LePage: "I'll send you the picture" (Cover,Portland Press Herald, 10/12)
"After apparently seeing the picture after the debate, Mitchell released a statement." Mitchell, in the statement: "After seeing this picture for the first time tonight, I regret the possible disrespect it may show to the office of the president. I am very sorry for having posed with this item."
LePage, on his comments to Obama: "The choice of words was wrong, and I apologize to Mainers and to the president. But the president should not be docking our boats and taking our fishermen off the water."
"The latest skirmish comes on the heels of two polls showing that the once-sizable gap between LePage and Mitchell has all but evaporated" (Cover,Portland Press Herald, 10/12).