Maine GOP gubernatorial candidate attacks Democrat for picture labeling Bush a terrorist

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Libby Mitchell has apologized for posing with a picture that labeled former President George W. Bush an "international terrorist," according to the Associated Press.

Mitchell's apology comes after a debate Monday night, where she accused her opponent, Maine Republican candidate Paul LePage, of disrespecting the president.

LePage previously told a group of fishermen that, "as your governor, you're going to be seeing a lot of me on the front page, saying 'Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell.'"

His comment was caught on video by a Democratic Party aide.

During the debate, LePage countered that Mitchell was a hypocrite and claimed he had a photograph of Mitchell holding a picture that labeled former President Bush an "international terrorist."

The Maine Republican Party later emailed the picture to a number of different media sources.

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"Libby Mitchell showed herself in the worst of all lights tonight," said Charlie Webster, chairman of the Maine Republican Party. "Her lecturing was hypocritical, her denial was untruthful, and her actions captured in this photo show her to be as extreme as it gets."

In a statement from the Maine Democratic Party, a spokesman said the owner of the photo, a prominent Mainer, had received an official letter from the former president and put the sticker on himself.

"Paul LePage is beyond desperate," said Arden Manning, Victory 2010 campaign manager. "Instead of focusing on the issues that Mainers care about or conducting himself in a manner befitting the office he is running for, LePage is digging through old photos and taking them completely out of context. The truth is Paul LePage publicly cursed at the president of the United States and publicly cursed at reporters."

"After seeing this picture for the first time tonight, I regret the possible disrespect it may show to the office of the president of the United States," said Mitchell "I am very sorry for having posed with this item."

"The latest skirmish comes on the heels of two polls showing that the once-sizable gap between LePage and Mitchell has all but evaporated," reports Bangor Daily News.

The most recent survey, released over the weekend, showed LePage and Mitchell separated by less than a percentage point. The Pine Tree Politics-Maine Center for Public Opinion survey of 679 voters had LePage at 29.6 percent and Mitchell at 28.7 percent.