The Maine governor who criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling, comparing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the Nazi Gestapo apologized for his remarks on Friday.
It was "never my intent to insult or to be hurtful to anyone, but rather express what can happen by overreaching government," Gov. Paul LePage said in his weekly radio address.
"The acts of the Holocaust were nothing short of horrific. Millions of innocent people were murdered and I apologize for my insensitivity to the word and the offense some took to my comparison of the IRS and the Gestapo," he continued.
LePage is known for blunt rhetoric, previously telling the Portland branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to "kiss my butt," calling protesters "idiots," referring to state government middle managers as "corrupt" and even saying he'd tell Obama to "go to hell," the Associated Press (AP) reported.
LePage said the Supreme Court's ‘Obamacare’ ruling "made America less free" and gave Americans no choice but to buy health insurance or "pay the new Gestapo — the IRS."
Upon hearing the governor’s remarks, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a statement saying, "The Governor should immediately apologize for his remarks and demonstrate an understanding of why they are offensive to all who value civil discourse. Comparisons to the Nazi police force have no place in modern politics or anywhere else."
Following his offensive remarks, the Republican governor met with representatives from the ADL of New England and the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine to clear the air, noted the AP.
"People took offense to it, and he is recognizing that. He's owning up to it and he's saying I'm sorry," said his spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett.