Gov. Paul LePage said publicly for the first time on Thursday that he was admitted to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor in late August after experiencing what he described as a “cardiac issue.”

Until Thursday, the Republican governor declined to answer media questions about what happened on the night of Aug. 25, with his staff explaining that the state’s most prominent public official had “experienced discomfort.”

But when Peter Slen, an interviewer for C-SPAN’s “50 Capital Tour” series, asked him Thursday in a televised interview how his health was, LePage replied. “It’s excellent. If it was any better it would be illegal.”

“I had a cardiac issue but everything is fine. There is no damage to my heart. They thought it would be unwise to go to Europe,” LePage explained, referring to a planned trade mission to Europe that was to have taken place around that time.

“They have not determined what caused it, but they have given me a clean bill of health,” LePage said. “Recently, I got a review and they said they cannot believe it. For my age the lab work and physical condition of my body is excellent.”

The Republican governor, who during his eight years in office has remained guarded in his remarks to the media about the state of his health, opened up to C-SPAN on his health and a broad range of issues during a 15-minute interview that included questions about his low approval ratings, his relationship with President Trump and whether he would favor building a wall along Maine’s border with Canada.

As the interview drew to close, LePage was asked by Slen what was next for his political career. LePage said he is done with politics and intends to spend more time with his wife, Ann.

“No, politics is out of my life. I did it because I thought it was important,” LePage said. “Starting out on the streets and making it to the governor’s mansion is something I am proud of. … I have lived the American dream and it was important we give back.”

C-SPAN’s “50 Capital Tour” series, which began in Sept. 2017, takes the network to all 50 capitals and was designed to mark the 25th anniversary of the C-SPAN bus program. Thursday’s interview with LePage was labeled as a talk about top policy issues facing Maine.

 

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