A day after making national news for his claim that “90 percent-plus” of those arrested for dealing drugs in Maine “are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn,” Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is back in the news for bigoted remarks.
In an obscenity-filled voicemail message on Thursday, LePage slurred a state legislator as a “cocksucker.” Angered that Rep. Drew Gattine (D) had criticized his “racially charged” comments, LePage warned that he was “after” him.
I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker. You, I need you to, just freakin’, I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.
LePage issued a public statement on Friday, sort of apologizing. “I called Gattine and used the worst word I could think of. I apologize for that to the people of Maine,” he said, “but I make no apology for trying to end the drug epidemic that is ravaging our state. Legislators like Gattine would rather be politically correct and protect ruthless drug dealers than work with me to stop this crisis that is killing five Mainers a week.” He added that he comment about “going after Gattine” merely meant he would “do everything I could to see that he and his agenda is defeated politically.”
These two comments are but the latest in a long series of offensive comments from LePage over the past six years. As a candidate, he vowed to tell President Obama to “go to hell.” As governor, he told the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” urged the state’s able-bodied unemployed to “get off the couch and get a job,” denounced asylum seekers for bringing “hepatitis C, tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, the [non-existant] ‘ziki fly,’”and warned that out-of-state men with names like “D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty,” come into the Maine to sell drugs, adding that “half the time they impregnate a young white girl” before leaving.
After leaving his voicemail message, LePage told reporters he wished the year was 1825 and he and the “snot-nosed” legislator could have a duel.
Assistant House Democratic Leader Sara Gideon on Friday called LePage “unfit to serve as governor right now,” and said if LePage is not willing to step down, she Republican leaders should stage an intervention to get LePage “the help he needs.” LePage responded by saying he would only resign if Gattine did as well.