Maine's Republican governor says that anyone who is upset because he said that President Barack Obama's health care reforms would turn the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) into Nazi secret police should "be goddamn mad at the federal government."
During a weekly radio address on Saturday, Gov. Paul LePage complained that the Affordable Care Act would force people to "buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS."
WMTW's Paul Merrill caught up with LePage on Monday, but the governor refused to comment at first.
But after Merrill noted that groups like the Anti-Defamation League had criticized the remarks as "hurtful and inappropriate," LePage changed his mind.
"It was never intended to offend anyone," he insisted. "And if someone's offended, then they ought to be goddamn mad at the federal government."
"Is that an apology?" Merrill asked as the governor turned and walked away.
In a statement on Monday, LePage added that it was never his intent to "minimize the fact that millions of people were murdered."
"Clearly, what has happened is that the use of the word Gestapo has clouded my message," he explained. "We no longer are a free people. With every step that Obamacare moves forward, our individual freedoms are being stripped away by the Federal Government. This should anger all Americans."
Since taking office in 2011, LePage has told the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP) to "kiss my but," called protesters "idiots" and suggested he would tell President Barack Obama to "go to hell."
Watch this video from WMTW, broadcast July 9, 2012.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)