Are there no good anger management classes in Maine?
Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage just accused a state lawmaker of calling him a racist and let loose on the legislator in a threatening and profanity-filled phone message.
The governor was set off Thursday when a television reporter indicated that Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine and other legislators had allegedly called him racist, the Portland Press Herald reported.
LePage had made comments Wednesday on drug crime in which he remarked on the race of suspects involved.
Gattine later denied calling the governor a racist but the damage was done as LePage stormed out and apparently called the Westbrook lawmaker.
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” a recording of the phone message said. “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c*cksucker. 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 c*cksucker. You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
WARNING: This audio contains explicit language.
The governor invited reporters from the Press Herald along with a television crew from WMTW to his house where he continued to blast Gattine and others. LePage even wished he could challenge the “snot-nosed little guy” to a duel.
“When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825,” LePage said. “And we would have a duel, that’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton. I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.”
Gattine, the House chair of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, said it was “hard to believe” the message came from the governor, the Press Herald reported. The government committee has opposed some of LePage’s drug enforcement and welfare reforms.
“Obviously that message is upsetting, inappropriate and uncalled for,” Gattine said Thursday. “It’s hard to believe it’s from the governor of the state of Maine, but again, we need to stay focused on the drug problem we are facing here in Maine and cannot allow this story to be about the governor’s inappropriate and vulgar behaviors.”
The governor later released a public statement about the comments he had made.
. issues statement about voicemail he left for Rep. Gattine: pic.twitter.com/d3rgUXPKnK
— Hannah Lilly (@hannah_lilly) August 26, 2016
“When someone calls me a racist, I take it very seriously,” the statement read. “I didn’t know Drew Gattine from a hole in the wall until yesterday. It made me enormously angry when a TV reporter asked me for my reaction about Gattine calling me a racist. It is the absolute worst, most vile thing you can call a person. So I called Gattine and used the worst word I could think of. I apologize for that to the people of Maine, 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.”
Westbrook lawmakers issued their own statement saying the governor “humiliated” himself and the office.
Here’s the “open letter” from three Westbrook city leaders reacting to Gov. LePage voicemail @WGME pic.twitter.com/oUJLCzqxRI
— Katie Sampson (@KatieWGME) August 26, 2016
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