Gov. Paul R. LePage of Maine, known for his belligerent style and racial comments has endorsed Donald Trump's bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Friday.
"I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular," said LePage, hours after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also backed his former presidential campaign rival.
"So I think I should support him because we're one of the same cloth," LePage said on the Howie Carr Show, according to Politico.
Like Trump, LePage has also been accused of racism due to blunt remarks. In January, the governor referred to out-of-state drug dealers who come to Maine with names like D-Money, Smoothy and Shifty, adding that "half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve got to deal with down the road," the New York Times reported.
At a later press conference, LePage said his comment was a "slip of the tongue," and that he had meant to say "Maine woman" and not "white women."
Again much like the Republican frontrunner, LePage has little love for the media, saying at the same press conference: "You don't like me, and I don't like you. I sincerely mean that."
In another faux pas in 2012, LePage compared the IRS to the Gestapo, later apologizing after heavy criticism. However, the following week he repeated the comparison when he was asked if knew what the Gestapo did. The governor answered that they "killed a lot of people" and that the IRS was headed in the same direction.
“What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet," LePage said, according to the Kennebec Journal.
On Friday, LePage, who previously backed Christie, said that Trump "could be one of the greatest president if he sits down and puts together a good team."
Trump, who spoke on the show after LePage, welcomed the endorsement, calling the governor a "great guy." "That is our terrific honor," he added.
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