Supporters of Gov. Paul LePage often say that they like what he says, but not always how he says it.

His election eve attack video against legislative Democrats failed on both counts.

In the video released Monday, LePage looked into the camera and called out critics of his education policies, saying their charges were “just plain false” and that they were willing to use children as “pawns in a special interest chess match.”

LePage took special umbrage with the accusation that he cut spending for public education when, in fact, he increased school spending by $63 million in his budget.

While he is correct, what he doesn’t say is that the school spending increase did not offset the loss of federal stimulus funds, which propped up school spending when state revenues were in free fall.

More state funds or not, this was a cut for many school districts, and that meant layoffs or local tax increases all around the state.

For two years, the LePage administration has proposed a broad agenda of education policies. Some, such as the introduction of public charter schools, represent bipartisan education reform that is in place all around the country.

Other bills, such as his plan to divert money from public school budgets to private and religious schools, represent an extreme position that would hurt the state’s education system.

It was rightly killed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The way the governor chose to deliver his message on Monday is also worth noting.

For the second time in two weeks, LePage released a video of himself staring at a camera reading a statement. For a governor who rarely gives press interviews, this probably seems like an artful dodge. LePage may think he’s going straight to the people, but the people may think something else.

If the governor is not willing to take questions and defend his position, how can we have confidence in his message?

If the governor or the members of his team don’t trust him to deliver his message in an environment he doesn’t control, what confidence should we have in the messenger?

LePage does not have to like the news media (most politicians don’t), but he should be willing to defend his policies to the people of the state.

His fans may approve of his disdain, but he’s governor of the whole state, not just his fans.

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