POLITICS

Paul LePage Fuels Spat With Portland Press Herald, Says He Wants To 'Blow It Up' In Simulator

FILE - In this June 26, 2013 file photo, Gov. Paul LePage speaks to reporters shortly after the Maine House and Senate both v
FILE - In this June 26, 2013 file photo, Gov. Paul LePage speaks to reporters shortly after the Maine House and Senate both voted to override his veto of the state budget at the State House in Augusta, Maine. Heading into the July 4 holiday weekend, LePage, a Republican, has vetoed 57 bills that the Democratic-led Legislature has sent to his desk thus far. The total surpasses former Independent Gov. James Longley who previously held the record for single-session vetoes with 49 in 1977. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) launched a targeted verbal strike on a local newspaper Friday, joking that he wished he could find the office of the Portland Press Herald and "blow it up."

LePage made the comments, the latest in an ongoing tiff between the governor and area newspapers, before climbing into the cockpit of a F-35 Lightning II fighter jet simulator.

“I want to find the Press Herald building and blow it up,” he said.

The simulator reportedly allowed the outspoken governor to shoot at enemy planes, but he had no such luck tracking down a virtual newspaper building.

LePage has repeatedly sparred with Maine newspapers over the past year. On multiple occasions, he's denounced local outlets, suggesting that they print "lies" and lack objectivity.

Earlier this year, he did little to hide his disdain, telling a group of students that his "greatest fear in the state of Maine" was its newspapers.

In June, he cemented his opposition with silence, telling the Portland Press Herald that his administration would no longer be providing comment to that publication, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel, which are all are owned by the same media company.

The move came after the Herald published a series of stories on Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho's lobbying ties, though the outlet reports his administration never really enforced the comment blackout.

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