During a speech on Sunday, Governor LePage alluded that the problem with welfare is that recipients are sitting on the couch and not looking for work.
The comment was made during his speech to the GOP Convention in Augusta. LePage spoke in length about what he said are the problems with Maine’s welfare system:
This November represents a real choice at the ballot box. Do you want to remain a sinking welfare state?…Can we revive the American dream?….I understand welfare because I lived it. I understand the difference between a want and a need. The Republican Party promised to bring welfare change. We must deliver on this promise…Maine’s welfare program is cannibalizing the rest of state government. To all you able-bodied people out there: Get off the couch and get yourself a job.
LePage’s remarks drew instant controversy with many highlighting that his comments were offensive. Mike Tipping, of the Maine People’s Alliance, spoke out to the Huffington Post about LePage’s disrespectful speech:
[It was] downright offensive to Maine people searching for work in a difficult economy, especially considering his embarrassing record of failing to invest in programs that create jobs and cutting assistance for the unemployed while at the same time giving massive new tax breaks to the wealthy.