Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday that President Barack Obama is a dictator.
“Let me be very clear. I believe the President of the United States, Barack Obama, is a dictator,” he said at a news conference. “I think he has failed the American people. He has not worked with the Congress.”
“And what he has done is he has used the executive office to put regulations on our country that’s going to take us decades to get out of,” he said.
LePage, who is an avid supporter of Donald Trump, called the Republican presidential nominee “very powerful.”
“Donald Trump on the other hand is a very powerful personality. And he has a very authoritative persona,” he said.
“When he is in the room, people notice. He does not have to go behind closed doors with his community activists to get things done and to hurt the American people,” LePage said. “That’s really what i really meant.”
LePage stood by Trump in a radio interview on Tuesday, saying that the United States might need someone like the GOP nominee to show “authoritarian power.”
The Republican lawmaker dismissed concerns over an audiotape leaked last week that showed Trump describing how he forces himself upon women.
“Sometimes, I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, but we need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law because we’ve had eight years of a president, he’s an autocrat, he just does it on his own, he ignores Congress and every single day, we’re slipping into anarchy,” LePage said on Maine radio station WVOM.
LePage said Wednesday his use of the word “authoritarian” was incorrect.
“Yesterday, I used the word authoritarian when I meant to use the word authoritative,” he said at the news conference.
LePage also used the event to attack Arizona Sen. John McCain, who reversed his endorsement of Trump after viewing a tape where the GOP nominee discussed groping women’s genitals.
“John McCain spent his time in Vietnam and he had a wife who held everything together and when he came back he dumped her,” LePage said. “We all have skeletons in our closet. The only person who’s ever been perfect in the history of mankind was crucified by the government.”
LePage said he’d rather focus on what Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has done recently than what Trump has done more than a decade ago.
“That tape was 11 years old. Have you done anything wrong in the last 11 years? I’m more concerned to what she did in the last three months,” he said.
“Donald Trump was not my first or my second candidate but he is my third. And I believe with the two candidates that we have, Donald Trump is the best choice,” LePage added.