AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell says Maine's Republican governor is wrong to criticize the state's two U.S. senators for opposing an Affordable Care Act repeal.

Mitchell, a Maine Democrat, responded to Paul LePage's criticism of Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King on Thursday. He says the senators were representing the interests of Mainers by opposing the repeal, which he says would harm rural residents and the elderly and poor.

LePage called Collins and King "dangerous" in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday. A spokesman for LePage's office says Thursday the governor is "not interested in responding to former members of the world's most exclusive club."

Mitchell was a member of the Senate from 1980 to 1995. He served as majority leader for the final six years.