AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Governor LePage repeated his claim that almost half of Mainers do not work when speaking to reporters Thursday. His press secretary immediately clarified that he was talking about the number of Mainers on some form of government assistance.
Earlier this week, Bangor Daily News blogger Mike Tipping released an audio recording of the governor as he spoke to the Greater Portland Chapter of the Informed Women's Network. In it, LePage says, "about 47% of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don't work." The governor has been criticized for making a claim that isn't true.
Thursday, NEWS CENTER asked the governor what he meant. He said, "It's actually 48.4%, but we won't -- What we're talking about is we're an aging society, a very large population not working. We don't allow our kids to work until they're 16, which is another crime against society, and then we have those that we've taught, because we haven't let them work and learn how to work, they sit at home, and they don't work, and I find that very sad."
When asked where he's getting the 48.4% number, the governor referred reporters to his press secretary, Adrienne Bennett. Bennett immediately clarified that the governor was referring to the number of people in Maine who receive some form of government assistance. She said the governor's reference to work was a mistake.