Statement to the Media
Portland, ME - When we started this campaign, I told my wife that she wouldn't recognize her husband when my opponents were through with me.
Sometimes it's not fun to say, "I told you so." This is one of those times.
Immediately following our Republican primary victory - a cordial and respectful campaign - the governor's allies began to mislabel me and mislead the people about my agenda for Maine. I have been attacked personally because my opponents want to change the subject - they don't want to change Augusta.
I'm running for governor because I believe we need to get Maine back on track. I'm focused on improving our business climate, reducing taxes, making health insurance more affordable and implementing real spending reform. That's my agenda.
I have pledged to run a positive campaign because I believe that the people will hold those of us seeking the office of Governor accountable for not only what we say, but how we say it.
I am not a career politician. In fact, my background is probably very similar to many of Maine's working families. I am a retired high school English teacher and basketball coach, and I have said on the campaign trail many times that my wife and I have struggled during some periods to make ends meet.
Despite this, my opponents have said that I don%u2019t care about the issues facing Maine's working families.
I have turned the other cheek as my opponents have ridiculed my faith to score political points.
They have told the people of Maine that I - a teacher of 26 years in Maine's public high schools - don't care about education.
They'd have the people of Maine believe that I - a registered Maine Guide and passionate outdoorsman - want to damage our environment.
They have said that I don't care about the issues facing women - despite the fact that I've been married for more than 30 years and, with my wife, have raised three strong, independent and successful daughters.
And now, this. 13 days before a highly competitive election, information surfaces - information that has been a matter of public record since long before I decided to run for Governor more than a year ago - that we've gotten behind on some bills, which resulted in several liens being placed on our home.
These bills have long since been paid, and the liens on the property have been discharged.
That these documents are surfacing less than two weeks before the election is suspicious at best, and dirty politics at worst.
I've met with thousands of Maine's working families during this campaign. I've listened to them tell me stories about their struggles to make ends meet. And I've meant it when I said, I've been there. I've been in your shoes."
My wife and I have put our four children through college and helped cared for an ill family member during recent years. Things have been tight for us at times. We know what it's like to struggle to make ends meet.
Paying the bills hasn't always been easy, but it's always gotten done.
Still, I am committed more than ever to spreading our message of lower taxes, more affordable health insurance and a stronger economy - for Maine's working families.
I've said before that this campaign is about improving Maine, but first we need to improve the tone in Augusta.
I'm happy to take questions.