Maine Gov. Paul LePage challenged a state representative to “prove that I’m a racist” in a scathing, profane voicemail by the lawmaker he attacked.
LePage left the wild voicemail Thursday morning after a reporter confronted him and suggested that Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine was among several who labelled the Pine Tree State governor a racist after a series of comments made by LePage throughout the year.
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” began the voicemail, published by the Portland Press Herald Friday. “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c—sucker. I want to talk to you.”
“I want you to prove that I’m a racist,” he continued. “I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-b—- socialist c—sucker. You..I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
Listen to the voicemail below:
After local media obtained the voicemail, the Maine Republican invited reporters to hear him out. The governor admitted to leaving the voicemail and professed a desire to settle the dispute with Gattine in an armed 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, according to the Press Herald. “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 told the Press Herald that he never explicitly called LePage a racist.
On Wednesday, LePage stirred up controversy when he said for the past seven months he had kept a binder with which he inserts photos of drug dealers arrested in the state. LePage said he’s logged the photos in an attempt to justify racially-tinged comments he made earlier this year when speaking about drug-related problems in his state.
“I made the comment that black people are trafficking in our state,” he said. “Now, ever since I said that comment I’ve been collecting every single drug dealer who has been arrested in our state.”
“I don’t ask them to come to Maine and sell their poison, but they come,” he continued. “And I will tell you that 90-plus per cent of those pictures in my book ― and it’s a three-ringed binder ― are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn.”
LePage said in January that “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie,” come to Maine to sell drugs and “impregnate “a young, white girl.”
“They come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home,” he 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 we have to deal with down the road.”
He would give an apology for the comments in a subsequent press conference, saying that he should have said “Maine women” instead of “white” women.
Later that month, he said convicted drug criminals should face “the guillotine.”
LePage is an active supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, introducing him at multiple Maine rallies. LePage’s daughter also recently accepted a position in the Trump campaign.
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