AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday dismissed speculation that he is angling for a role in the administration of President Trump, saying the notion was “wishful thinking” on the part of his adversaries in Maine.
LePage spoke about time spent in Washington, D.C., during aweekly radio interview. LePage, who left Maine for about two weeks, said he bookended some time in Florida with trips to Washington, D.C. LePage did not elaborate on his activities in Washington.
“It was sort of a double trip,” LePage said. “We went a few days in Florida and a few days in Washington and on the way back I came back to Washington for a conference and then met my wife in Virginia and we drove back.”
But LePage also said he will return to Washington later this week to lobby Republican lawmakers on a potential replacement for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
LePage told talk radio host Ric Tyler at WVOM in Bangor that the replacement plan Republicans are proposing in Congress isn’t an improvement and won’t serve Maine well.
“I’m very, very discouraged and disappointed with what the House Republicans are introducing,” LePage said. “Based on what I see and what I’m reading and what has happened in Maine over the last 15 years, I don’t think it’s an improvement. I think they are punting the ball is what they are doing.”
LePage’s communications staff at the State House would not say what day the governor will return to Washington, D.C. or who he is planning to meet with. He is scheduled to appear at a town hall meeting in Yarmouth on Wednesday night.
LePage Press Secretary Adrienne Bennett, in an email message to the Portland Press Herald, wrote details of LePage’s visit to Washington this week would be released next week.
Asked who LePage was meeting with and when he was leaving and if he was going to any other destinations on the trip Bennett wrote, “We will let you know….next week.”