Maine Gov. LePage: ’47 Percent’ Of Those Able To Work In State Don’t (AUDIO)

Gov. Paul LePage delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at the State House in Augusta, Maine.
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Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) took a page from the Mitt Romney playbook when he told a conservative audience at an event last week that 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state don’t work, the Bangor Daily News reported Tuesday.

The Daily News obtained an audio recording of LePage speaking to members of the conservative Informed Women’s Network on Oct. 14. On the recording, LePage wrapped up his remarks with two final points about “energy” and “workforce development.”

“Number two, when you talk about workforce development, it really means that the people that — about 47 percent of able-bodied people in the state of Maine don’t work,” LePage said. A woman can then be heard on the recording reacting to that figure, to which LePage reiterated “About 47 percent. It’s really bad.”

The Daily News points to statistics from the Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information that show 65 percent of those over the age of 15 in the state are indeed working or actively seeking employment. 

The jobs figure LePage cited echoes an infamous comment Republican Mitt Romney made on the 2012 presidential campaign trail dismissing 47 percent of the American public for supposedly not paying federal income tax. Romney’s comment surfaced after an audio recording of his remarks at a private fundraiser was published by Mother Jones.

Listen to the audio:

Chart via Maine Center for Workforce Research and Information.

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