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Maine Governor: I Misspoke When I Said U.S. Needs ‘Authoritarian Power’

Governor Paul LePage holds a Town Hall Meeting
John Patriquin—Portland Press Herald/Getty Images Maine Gov. Paul LePage holds a town hall meeting to discuss his tax reform plan at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine.

He meant to call Donald Trump "authoritative"

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he misspoke this week when he said the U.S. needs someone like Donald Trump to demonstrate “authoritarian power.”

Speaking at a rare press conference on Wednesday to clarify his comments, LePage said he meant to say “authoritative.”

“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 Tuesday in an interview on Maine radio station WVOM, according to CNN.

LePage, a Republican, said Wednesday that he thinks the government is broken, praising Trump’s style of leadership and calling President Barack Obama a “dictator.”

“I think he has failed the American people, he has not worked with the Congress and what he has done, he has used the executive office to put regulations on our country that is going to take us decades to get out of,” LePage said Tuesday, according to the Portland Press Herald. “Donald Trump on the other hand is a very powerful personality and he has a very authoritative persona.”

“Let me explain what I mean by that,” he added. “When he is in a room people notice. He does not have to go behind closed doors with community activists to get things done and hurt American people, that’s really, what I really meant.”

LePage is supporting Trump for president, though he admitted the Republican nominee was not his first choice. Asked about his favorite policy of Trump’s, LePage said he didn’t know.

“I don’t know enough about them,” he said. “I am just campaigning.”

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