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Workers from India are hardest to understand: Republican governor

Indian workers are the “worst” and the “hardest” ones to understand, Republican governor of US state of Maine Paul LePage said, stirring another controversy by his party members in this election cycle.

world Updated: Apr 24, 2016 22:41 IST
HT correspondent
Indian workers are the “worst” and the “hardest” ones to understand, Republican governor of US state of Maine Paul LePage said, stirring another controversy by his party members in this election cycle.
Indian workers are the “worst” and the “hardest” ones to understand, Republican governor of US state of Maine Paul LePage said, stirring another controversy by his party members in this election cycle.(Photo courtesy: LePage’s Twitter handle.)

It’s election season in the US and it’s time to gripe about foreign workers and companies such as those from India, who are otherwise “lovely” and “great” people.

Republican governor of Maine, Paul LePage, who has courted controversy earlier for racist comments, said on Saturday at the party’s state convention that Indian workers were the “worst” to understand.

LePage was making a point about foreign workers, and said restaurants on the east coast were staffed by a lot of foreigners — what if they were from “Bulgaria”.

“And the worst ones are from India ,” LePage said warming up to the theme, as the audience laughed, “I mean they are all lovely people … you need an interpreter.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally April 22, 2016 in Harrington, Delaware. (AFP Photo)

The governor, whose tiny northeastern state was won by Ted Cruz in the Republican caucuses in March, pushed the issue further, wanting to know if people had ever called Amazon customer care.

He went on to say he understood why America needs foreign workers — because they do the jobs that Americans don’t want to perform, which is insightful and not too way off the mark.

At another rally Friday, Republican front-runner Donald Trump moaned about Indians performing outsourced back-office operations for his credit card company.

Read: Donald Trump mocks Indian call centres, but says India is a great nation

He has also complained about workers form China, Mexico and other countries taking away American jobs, which he has promised voters he will bring back.

But he proceeded to immediately call Indians “great”. So there.

During campaigns earlier, President Barack Obama used to hold up India as an example to push and inspire Americans to focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) courses.