AUGUSTA — Back in 2011, Emily Cain joined with nearly every Democrat to adopt a bipartisan state budget that cut taxes and spending.
At the time and since, the Democratic congressional candidate has said she hated that budget. It hasn’t been a secret.
On the other hand, her distaste for the budget, particularly its initial version, hasn’t stopped her from touting her willingness to work with Republicans to approve the largest tax cut in Maine’s history.
On Wednesday, state GOP Executive Director Jason Savage disclosed a video of her describing the measure as “the worst budget I’d ever seen” during a 2014 campaign forum in Oxford County. Savage said the footage showed her duplicity in taking credit for a key element of a spending plan she loathed.
Savage said Cain, who is seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, needs to apologize for deceiving voters with her “million-dollar lie.”
“Emily Cain and her extreme liberal special interest allies have a continual problem with telling the truth. This video, in Cain’s own words, is another example in a long and growing list of Emily Cain misleading, distorting and lying to Mainers,” said Michael Byerly, the Poliquin campaign’s spokesman.
It isn’t clear, though, that anything included in Cain’s mailers or advertising is false.
She voted for the budget after working on it with Gov. Paul LePage and her colleagues in the Legislature as she claimed.
Savage said that Cain, locked in a close 2nd District race, is “campaigning on both sides of the tax cut and state budget,” trying to score points from those who liked it as well as those who didn’t.
He said she is “deliberately deceiving the voters of Maine.”
Cain said, however, that she remains “proud of the work Gov. LePage and I did together. It’s an example of how you make Maine better.”
“I said it then and I’ll say it again now: Tax cuts for the rich are the wrong approach,” Cain said in a prepared statement.
“We need more support for working families, and we fought hard to get that help into that budget, when the first draft from the Republicans was all help for the rich,” she said. “So they can keep making things up about my record, but it’s been clear from the start that I disagreed with tax cuts for the rich but was proud to support that budget because it was the right choice for working families.”
Savage said, “She’s always found a way to slip out of this” and take credit for the tax cuts while trashing the budget itself.
“She’s tried to use this issue for her benefit,” he said.