(JTA) – Maine’s governor issued an apology for comments in which he compared the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo.
Paul LePage had said in his radio address last weekend that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling approving most of President Obama’s health care law “made America less free” and that it forced Americans to buy health insurance or “pay the new Gestapo – the IRS.”
In an interview with Seven Days, an alternative newspaper in Burlington, Vt., LePage also said earlier this week, “The Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet.”
In a formal apology over his “insensitivity to the word,” LePage said Friday that it was “never my intent to insult or to be hurtful to anyone, but rather express what can happen by overreaching government,” according to The Associated press.
He added in the remarks, which were obtained by AP, “The acts of the Holocaust were nothing short of horrific. Millions of innocent people were murdered and I apologize for my insensitivity to the word and the offense some took to my comparison of the IRS and the Gestapo.”
Earlier in the week, LePage had met in the State House with representatives of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine and the Anti-Defamation and apologized for his remarks.