Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) bashed proposed legislation in Maine that would circumvent the Electoral College during a presidential election, claiming this week that such a move would effectively silence “white people.”
LePage, who came under fire in 2016 for suggesting people of color in Maine were “the enemy,” warned that “minorities” would have more control if more bills meant to ensure the president is elected by the national popular vote are passed.
“Actually what would happen if they do what they say they’re gonna do is white people will not have anything to say,” LePage told WVOM FM’s “George Hale Ric Tyler Show” on Tuesday. “It’s only going to be the minorities that would elect. It would be California, Texas, Florida.”
To date, 11 states and Washington, D.C., have enacted National Popular Vote legislation, which requires all of that state’s electoral votes to be given to whichever presidential candidate wins the popular vote nationwide, rather than the candidate who won the vote in just that state. The legislation would take effect only when the law is enacted by states possessing 270 electoral votes ― a majority of the 538 electoral votes.
Critics of the Electoral College say the body provides an unfair advantage to Republicans and marginalizes the vast majority of minorities.
“The electoral college is a relic of slavery, designed to balance the power between slave-owning and non-slave owning states, at a time when African-Americans were considered 3/5s of a person and women didn’t vote at all,” former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) wrote in 2017.
But LePage dubbed the proposal, still undergoing consideration in Maine, as an “an insane, insane process” and warned that presidential candidates would overlook Maine during their campaigns.
“We’re gonna be forgotten people,” he said.
Twitter users were quick to drag LePage over his comments. Some accused the former governor of echoing white supremacist talking points.