PORTLAND, Maine — The governors of Vermont and Massachusetts came to Maine on Monday to give a campaign boost to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud and take a swipe at Republican Gov. Paul LePage for skipping a pair of events that featured the five other New England governors.
Appearing alongside Michaud, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin criticized LePage for missing last week's meeting with eastern Canadian premiers and for missing a regional summit on opiate addiction last month.
"We're urging you today to move from a governor that can't get along to a governor that gets along and brings Republicans, Democrats and independents together to create jobs, economic opportunity, invest in education, invest in infrastructure, invest in a brighter future," said Shumlin, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
A LePage spokeswoman called the remarks "petty," saying the governor was well-represented by his energy director and economic development commissioner at the meeting of governors and Canadian premiers.
On Monday, LePage was in neighboring New Brunswick, where he signed a memorandum of agreement with Premier David Alward to encourage cooperation between Maine and the Canadian province on economic development and job creation.
"While other governors are posing for photo ops and reciting political rhetoric, Governor LePage and his administration are working hard every day to bring Mainers tax relief, welfare reform and more affordable energy options," his spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett, said in a written statement.
Patrick and Shumlin were in Portland at the Cumberland Club to raise money for Michaud's campaign. Later, Patrick joined Michaud at another campaign event in Saco.
Patrick said it's possible for a Republican governor to work with the five other New England governors, all Democrats, on issues like energy, the economy and crime.
"We don't sit around the table spouting partisan slogans," Patrick told reporters. "We're about problem-solving."