In an attempt to condemn the supposedly anti-Semitic statements made by Rep. Ilhan Omar about the influence of the Israeli lobby on U.S. politics, former Maine Gov. Paul LePage has made a much more obviously anti-Semitic remark.
As noted by the Associated Press, LePage, a Republican, said in an interview on the radio station WGAN-AM that Jews “should be insulted” by Omar’s comments.
“The Jewish people in America have been great supporters of the Democratic Party,” LePage said. “In fact, that’s where their money comes from for the most part. They should be absolutely insulted for what she’s been saying.”
The Democratic Party is funded by Jews? Huh, who knew!
Clearly, this is a much more direct invocation of anti-Semitic stereotypes than anything Omar said her comments about AIPAC and the Israel lobby. Omar never once mentioned “Jews,” instead referencing the non-denominational lobbying group AIPAC and its donors.
LePage even used Omar’s comments to justify his own past racism. He said that her remarks made him feel “completely vindicated” in his own past comments, such as those he made in 2012, when he twice referred to the IRS as “the new Gestapo.”
But that’s far from the only time LePage has made headlines for racist comments.
[LePage] cast Maine’s dire opioid crisis in racial terms, branding “people of color or people of Hispanic origin” as “the enemy” for coming to Maine and selling drugs; in addition, he said, they “impregnate a young white girl before they leave.”
He has also called asylum seekers “the biggest problem in [Maine],” suggesting they brought in diseases. Awesome!
Back on WGAN-AM, while speculating on whether Jews would abandon the Democrats over Omar’s comments, LePage doubled down on his assertion that Jews fund the Democratic Party.
“I think what they might do, the fundraising might get hurt a little bit,” LePage said. “But I don’t think they’re going to desert the Democratic Party.”