UPDATE: Governor LePage has apologized for the remarks he made, stating he misspoke: "I was going impromptu and my brain didn't catch up to my mouth. Instead of Maine women, I said white women ... If you go to Maine, you can see it's 95% white."
Maine Gov. Paul LePage, the first elected official to publicly endorse Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie, unleashed a racially charged tirade claiming men named “D-Money” are responsible for his state’s heroin epidemic and impregnating Maine’s young white women.
During a town hall meeting on Wednesday in Bridgton, Maine, the notoriously blunt and politically incorrect politician answered how he would solve Maine’s heroin problem by pinning it on outsiders.
"Now the traffickers ... These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these types of guys. They come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, and they go back home," LePage said. "Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we've got to deal with down the road. We're going to make them very severe penalties."
yup. he said it. and they laughed. pic.twitter.com/eMVwj5ZeLq— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) January 7, 2016
The governor’s office told Portland Press-Herald that LePage’s concerning comments were not racially-fueled.
"The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant,” LePage’s communications director Peter Steele said. “What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers. His heart goes out to these kids because he had a difficult childhood, too. We need to stop the drug traffickers from coming into our state."
To deny race did not play a factor in LePage’s speech is insultingly absurd. Instead of taking responsibility and laying out the groundwork necessary to solve Maine’s substance abuse issues, the conservative politician would rather scapegoat outsiders without any real evidence except blind racism as the motivating cause for his bombastic spiel. With Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump spewing xenophobia almost daily and conservative states banning refugees out of narrow-minded demagoguery, the GOP further proves they are a party of stubborn bigots who are more versed in racism than political action.
To no one’s surprise, LePage may soon face impeachment as Democrats in the state legislature are expected to pass an impeachment motion next week. The governor came under fire for threatening to withhold an organization’s state funding if they hired Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves.
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