Maine Governor Paul LePage blasted the Supreme Court's health care ruling on Saturday, saying the "decision has made America less free."
"We the people have been told there is no choice," LePage said in his weekly radio address. "You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo -- the I.R.S."
He specifically targeted the individual mandate, calling its classification as a tax the most "disturbing" portion of the ruling.
“Now that Congress can use the taxation power of the federal government to compel behavior or lack thereof, what’s next?" LePage asked. "More taxes if we don’t drive Toyota Priuses or if we eat too much junk food or maybe even pea soup?”
LePage has a history of making controversial remarks. During his 2010 run for governor, the Tea Party-backed Republican turned heads at a GOP forum by vowing he would tell President Barack Obama to "go to hell."
After winning the 2010 election, LePage chose not to attend a January 2011 NAACP event honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When asked why, he said he would not be held "held hostage" by special interests, and that the organization could "kiss my butt."
At Maine's 2012 GOP convention, LePage took on welfare, telling able-bodied recipients to "get off the couch and get yourself a job." Those words drew a standing ovation from the crowd.
UPDATE (7/8/2012 -- 1:45 p.m. ET): Maine's House and Senate Democratic leaders issued statements on Sunday in response to LePage's remarks.
“The Governor’s language is intentionally offensive,” Rep. Emily Cain (D-Orono) said. "This goes beyond political rhetoric. The experience of the Holocaust survivors and the veterans of World War II who witnessed the true terror of the Gestapo should not be trivialized for political shock. The Governor must apologize. We urge our Republican colleagues to join us in condemning this language.”
“The Governor’s comparison of the IRS to the Gestapo is shameful and ignorant,” Sen. Justin Alfond (D-Portland) added. "His comment trivializes an historic atrocity and mischaracterizes Obamacare for the sake of political divisiveness. This is yet another instance of the Governor choosing hostile language over substance. He’s gone too far and owes not just the people of Maine an apology for his degrading language but to the families who were the victims of the real Gestapo.”
'2nd Amendment Remedies'
During Nevada's 2010 Senate election, an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/16/sharron-angle-floated-2nd_n_614003.html" target="_hplink">audio clip</a> surfaced of Sharron Angle <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/sharron_angle_floated_possibil.html" target="_hplink">raising</a> "Second Amendment remedies" as a viable solution to take when "government becomes out of control." The Tea Party-backed hopeful ultimately proved unsuccessful in her campaign to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
'I Do Not Wear High Heels'
Ken Buck, a Tea Party-backed contender who ultimately fell short in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado, made headlines in 2010 when he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/21/ken-buck-vote-for-me-beca_n_654990.html" target="_hplink">quipped</a> that people should vote for him "because I do not wear high heels."
'I Am Not A Witch'
Christine O'Donnell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/christine-odonnell-witch-ad_n_750140.html" target="_hplink">captured headlines</a> in 2010 with a now-infamous campaign ad in which she tells voters, "I'm not a witch." She says, "I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you." O'Donnell was defeated in her campaign for Senate in Delaware by Democratic Sen. Chris Coons.
Scientists For Creationism?
Rep. Michele Bachmann <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Damah0KH-Co&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">said</a> in October of 2006, "There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design."
Democrats = Communists?
HuffPost's Jen Bendery <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/allen-west-democrats-communist-party_n_1417279.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in April of this year: <blockquote>As many as 80 House Democrats are communists, according to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.). West warned constituents at a Tuesday town hall event that he's "heard" that dozens of his Democratic colleagues in the House are members of the Communist Party, the <em>Palm Beach Post</em> <a href=" http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/allen-west-hears-cheers-jeers-at-town-hall-2295766.html?cxtype=rss_news" target="_hplink">reported</a>. There are currently 190 House Democrats. West spokeswoman Angela Melvin later defended West's comments -- and clarified to whom West was referring. "The Congressman was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies. The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself. These individuals certainly aren't proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom," Melvin said in a statement to The Huffington Post.
Welfare Prison Dorms?
The AP <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/22/carl-paladino-backs-welfa_n_690284.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in August of 2010 on then-New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino: <blockquote>Throughout his campaign, Paladino has criticized New York's rich menu of social service benefits, which he says encourages [undocumented] immigrants and needy people to live in the state. He has promised a 20 percent reduction in the state budget and a 10 percent income tax cut if elected. Asked at the meeting how he would achieve those savings, Paladino laid out several plans that included converting underused state prisons into centers that would house welfare recipients. There, they would do work for the state - "military service, in some cases park service, in other cases public works service," he said - while prison guards would be retrained to work as counselors. "Instead of handing out the welfare checks, we'll teach people how to earn their check. We'll teach them personal hygiene ... the personal things they don't get when they come from dysfunctional homes," Paladino said. ... Paladino told The Associated Press the dormitory living would be voluntary, not mandatory, and would give welfare recipients an opportunity to take public, state-sponsored jobs far from home. "These are beautiful properties with basketball courts, bathroom facilities, toilet facilities. Many young people would love to get the hell out of cities," Paladino he said. He also defended his hygiene remarks, saying he had trained inner-city troops in the Army and knows their needs. "You have to teach them basic things - taking care of themselves, physical fitness. In their dysfunctional environment, they never learned these things," he said.</blockquote>