'Disgusting': Maine GOP candidate blasted for 'rape' remark

Ed Thelander, a Republican congressional candidate from Maine, raised some eyebrows this week with his graphic denunciation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Thelander accused the agency, which regulates lobster harvesting in the state, of wanting to "rape you and your family." Thelander proceeded to tell fishermen attending his speech that regulators "have to prove yourself honorable... and they are not" and then implored them, "Don’t negotiate with a rapist."

Maine Democrats blasted Thelander for his remarks.

"There are serious issues with NOAA that are hurting the lobster industry, but this comparison from GOP candidate Ed Thelander is disgusting and unproductive. Comments like these show he’s unfit for office," Maine Democrats said in a social media post.

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The candidate would subsequently acknowledge that his accusations of family-raping against the regulators was "over the top" and apologized for them during his debate with rival Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME).

"My comments were over the top, and I apologize for that," Thelander said in explaining his comments. "I'm very passionate about it. I mean, I love those families. I've been in and around them since we moved to Maine, and I've been working with them for the past 14 months more so. And I'm seeing the struggles they have. I'm seeing that nothing's been done."

Both Thelander and Pingree have been criticizing the NOAA over its endorsement of a rule that would "more strictly regulate where lobster can be caught in federal waters and what equipment can be used to catch them."