UPDATE: Maine Gov. Paul LePage has issued an apology to Democratic lawmaker Drew Gattine for the voicemail heard 'round the world.
According to AOL News, he admitted that he went over the edge by calling Gattine, "the worst word I could think of" — which refers to his repeated labeling of Gattine as a "c**ksucker" throughout the voicemail.
He went on to apologize directly to his constituents:
"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," LePage said in a statement. "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."
LePage also "clarified" what he supposedly meant by challenging Gattine to a duel.
"Obviously, it is illegal today; it was simply a metaphor and I meant no physical harm to Gattine. But I am calling him out to stop giving inflammatory sound bites and get to work to end this crisis that is killing Mainers, destroying families and creating drug-addicted babies, all so the drug dealers Gattine is protecting can make a profit."
In the midst of his half-hearted apology, LePage was also able to fit in more babble about how he is not a racist.
"When someone calls me a racist, I take it very seriously. 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."
Correction Governor; many would likely agree that being called a "c**ksucker" tops being called a racist as far as "vile" names go.
Republican Maine Gov. and fervid Donald Trump backer, Paul LePage, has broken the internet with an obscene voicemail he left for Democratic State. Rep. Drew Gattine.
Gattine criticized LePage earlier this week for saying that “90-plus percent” of Maine’s drug dealers were black or Hispanic. While condemning the governor, Gattine reportedly implied that LePage is a racist.
Clearly, LePage was not thrilled with Gattine’s assessment of him so he left a very profane, hostile message on his voicemail Thursday.
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c**ksucker. 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 b*tch, socialist c**ksucker… I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
Gattine did exactly what LePage asked and leaked the angry message which set the internet ablaze with sentiments of stark disapproval being shared throughout social media.
It makes me sad that even one voter in the state of Maine would vote for Paul LePage, let alone enough for his election— luke myers (@TheLukeMyers) August 26, 2016
Wow, this voicemail that Maine Gov. Paul LePage left Rep. Drew Gattine is...bad https://t.co/5TExIcYKbl— Prachi Gupta (@prachigu) August 26, 2016
Perhaps the disgusting Paul LePage should take a tip from a former Maine governor ... pic.twitter.com/KRboYkLQ9S— (((Franny))) (@PoliticalDoggy) August 26, 2016
LePage didn’t stop there either, he invited the Press Herald and a WMTW-TV camera crew to conduct a half hour interview with him in which he berated Gattine some more, even suggesting he would like to shoot him “right between the eyes.”
“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. 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.”
According to Uproxx, Gattine has commented on LePage’s outrageous comments, calling the voicemail “upsetting, inappropriate, and uncalled for.” But, rather than dignifying LePage’s immature behavior with a rebuttal, he decided to shift attention to the state’s drug problem that is at the center of this feud.
LePage’s defensive response indicates that he has a real issue with being called a racist, which is a bit strange considering he has demonstrated some pretty bigoted views.
He made headlines several times for making crude comments such as; Indian accents are “the worst” to understand, refugees are to blame for bringing the Zika virus to the United States, and black men from neighboring states move to Maine to sell drugs and impregnate white women.
Beyond his blatantly racist public remarks, LePage also supports Donald Trump — who is overtly racist. So, instead of asking Gattine to “prove” how he is a racist, LePage needs to try making a case for how he isn’t.
It is appalling that an elected official would exhibit such reckless and vile behavior, but this just exemplifies the toxic political climate Trump has created.
He has gotten away with publicly saying some of the most unbelievably disgusting things about people, that he has made it acceptable for other public figures to follow suit.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @HuffPostPol