Maine’s Republican governor ignited a fresh firestorm on Thursday when, for the second time in a week, he compared the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo, Nazi Germany’s murderous secret police.
Democrats suggested that Governor Paul LePage, a Tea Party favorite elected in 2010, was unfit to hold office.
LePage had already been called out by Democrats, Jewish groups and others in the northeast U.S. state for linking the federal tax agency and the Gestapo in his weekly radio address on Saturday.
At that point LePage termed the IRS “the new Gestapo” in comments opposing national healthcare reforms upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
After the remarks were picked up by national media, LePage said in a statement that he had not intended to insult anyone. “Clearly, what has happened is that the use of the word Gestapo has clouded my message,” he said.