Just when you think you know all you need to know about Gov. Paul LePage, along comes his deeply rooted aversion to other people’s saliva.

“Let me just explain how serious this is,” LePage told hosts Mike Violette and Barry Hobbins on WGAN radio Friday morning. “There are two things in life – two things in life – that absolutely drive me to complete disrespect for the other person. That’s someone who spits in my face and somebody who lies to me.”

Alrighty then – although you’ve got to imagine that anyone who spits in LePage’s face also would surrender, in short order, a few front teeth.

Referring both to his Democratic challenger, Mike Michaud, and the never-ending debate over gubernatorial debates, LePage went on to say, “He’s done one of them on multiple occasions – and I don’t need to be spit on when I go into the studio.”

Let’s hold it right there for a second.

Say what you may about Michaud, but his long record in state and federal politics contains nary a mention of spitting. He may stumble over his words from time to time, but the man has a proud history of keeping his saliva to himself.

Now let’s move on to the lying thing.

LePage’s rage – or at least what he wants us to think is rage – stems from a TV ad by Maine Forward, a pro-Michaud political action committee. The 30-second spot takes issue with LePage for his news release back in June that called Social Security and Medicare, among other programs, “welfare.”

Dumb move. So dumb that LePage subsequently taped a robo-call that began with the words “I do not believe Social Security is welfare.”

The recording then went on to accuse Michaud, independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler and “liberal newspapers” of spreading “false information” about LePage.

Two points are worth making here.

First, the reason Team Le-Page put out that initial news release in the first place was to blunt some bad news for the incumbent heading into the 2014 election: A U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report that showed Maine’s personal income growth not only was trailing the national average, but was dead last among the six New England states.

LePage’s dog-ate-my-homework excuse: Those stats included a variety of federal benefits – including Social Security and Medicare – and thus weren’t a true reflection of how poorly Maine’s economy is performing.

Except, by everyone’s measure but LePage’s, that’s exactly what the figures showed.

The second point: After listing the various benefits that go into the feds’ income mix – again, including Social Security and Medicare – LePage’s release stated, “It doesn’t matter what liberals call these payments, it is welfare, pure and simple.”

Those are his words. They’re not Michaud’s. They’re not Cutler’s. They’re not the concoction of a “liberal newspaper.”

LePage might wish he’d taken his editing pencil to that news release before his staff hit the send button three months ago, but to now accuse Michaud or anyone else who repeats his words of peddling “false information” is in itself, well, peddling false information.

Nor, by a long shot, is this the first time LePage, the self-proclaimed hater of all lies, has checked his own facts at the door.

Remember that windmill up at the University of Maine at Presque Isle? LePage told an audience last year that whenever dignitaries visit the clean-energy demonstration project, university officials “have an electric motor so that they can show people wind power works. Unbelievable.”

Indeed it was. Primarily because it wasn’t true.

Or how about the time the Guv claimed that Maine students who apply to the College of William & Mary in Virginia “have to take a placement exam to see if (they) qualify.”

We and several other media outlets checked and … um … no, they don’t.

Back when he was campaigning in 2010, businessman Le- Page told voters that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection once ordered him to perform a census on black flies. On another project, he added, the DEP demanded a tally of all the local buffaloes.

Lie and … another lie.

LePage once charged his opponents with calling him a draft dodger.

They didn’t.

He complained that he’s been called a “sexual harassment person.”

Never happened.

Then there was the time in 2011, after Forbes listed Maine worst among all 50 states when it comes to its business climate (a dubious honor we’ve held ever since), LePage claimed the folks at Forbes blamed it on welfare, energy costs and not having our “fiscal house in order.”

Responded Forbes compiler Kurt Badenhausen in a subsequent blog post, “Sorry Governor, but I didn’t say any of those things.”

We could go on, but you get the point. For four long years, LePage has repeatedly used fiction as his weapon of choice when faced with a world that isn’t quite as terrible as he wants us all to think it is.

Thus, in this latest dust-up over Social Security and Medicare, he howls “I never said that” even as his own words – which in fact did say that – remain etched into the public record.

The painful truth for LePage is that he made a big mistake by dragging Social Security and Medicare into his ever-expanding definition of welfare.

How big?

Well, for starters, a just-completed Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram poll shows that since June, Le- Page’s unfavorable rating has risen from 48 percent to 55 percent among Maine voters between the ages of 50 and 64. And for those over 65, his unfavorables have jumped from 51 percent to 56 percent.

That’s bad news in an aging state where, according to the same poll, 82 percent of the 50-to-64s and 91 percent of the over-65s say they “will definitely vote” come Nov. 4.

It’s also why LePage called WGAN in the first place Friday to complain: “We’ve stepped over the line now. We’ve gone to falsifying information for the purpose of getting elected. And now the pure honesty is gone. And it’s not only gone on one occasion. It’s gone on several occasions.”

You read that right. The guy who time after time after time has turned the truth into so much road kill now moans – in the face of criticism that is 100 percent accurate – that “the pure honesty is gone.”

It’s enough to make you spit.

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