Maes was speaking at a restaurant in Avon, Colo. when he made the comments Sunday after saying that as governor he would make sure a state law is enforced that prevents illegal immigrants from receiving public assistance without proper identification.
"We just need a leader with the courage to do that," Maes said. "I don't care what the federal government thinks about it. Screw them. We're going to do what's best for the people of Colorado."
Maes trails Democratic opponent John Hickenlooper badly in fundraising and the GOP has tried to get Maes to drop out of the race. The Vail Daily reports that Maes told the people at Bob's Place in Avon that he's recently been "pulled into meetings" he thinks are for fundraising only to be told he needs to leave the race.
"In the last two weeks, I've stood up to six- and seven-term congressmen and millionaire senators. If someone wants to come after me, they can bring it on."
Also in the gubernatorial contest is former Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, who switched parties to run on the American Constitution Party ticket. Tancredo said he entered the race because he doesn't think Maes is a viable candidate and he wants to give conservatives another choice.
Maes has repeatedly drawn attention for his remarks while campaigning. He once suggested that a Denver bike-sharing program is part of a U.N. conspiracy to control American cities and last week in Durango he said that the political process is surrounded by evil. He's also come under scrutiny for claiming he once worked as an undercover police officer in Kansas -- statements which have not been corroborated by his superiors.
Maes claimed he was fired by the police department in Liberal, Kan., because police and politicians were corrupt. Maes told people at the campaign stop in Avon he was 22 at the time.
"To be dismissed and not know why, it was the first time I cried as an adult," he said.
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