Maine’s tea party-backed Gov. Paul LePage (R) has gone from telling President Obama to “go to hell” to telling the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” after the storied civil rights organization criticized LePage for declining invitations to attend events honoring Martin Luther King Day. The NAACP had invited LePage to events in Portland and Bangor, but a spokesman for the governor said he “already has personal and professional commitments scheduled for Monday.” “We don’t want to misinterpret his intention, but the message we’re getting is that we’re not welcome and we’re not part of the Maine he’s preparing to lead,” said local NAACP state director Rachel Talbot Ross. LePage fired back at the group’s chiding, telling WGME News 13 that the NAACP is just a “special interest group” that can “kiss my butt”:
Governor LePage fended off criticism that skipping these events is a pattern. “If they want, they can look at my family picture. My son happens to be black. So, they can do whatever they like about it. But the fact of the matter is there are only so many hours in a day and so many hours in a week and so much that you can do,” said the governor.
The governor went on to call the NAACP a “special interest group,” and said “I am not going to be held hostage by a special interest group.”
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Rachel Talbot Ross, with the Portland Chapter of the NAACP, called LePage’s comments “ignorant” and “sad”, and said she was disappointed.