LePage Holds Presser to Address Racism Charges, Blames Media For Bad Drug Coverage
Maine Governor Paul LePage found himself in hot water recently, as his racially-charged comments made regarding Maine’s heroin crisis at a Bridgton town hall event made international news.
- “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, they go back home. 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.”
Some reactions are below.
1. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree: “Governor LePage’s comments were disgraceful and racist. Once again, just a week before Martin Luther King Day, the governor has made a comment that is offensive to the African American community and to all of us. It does not represent the values of Maine people and is embarrassing to our state. And although the governor seems to regret getting caught making those remarks, he also seems unwilling to apologize to the community that he has insulted.”
2. 2CD Democratic candidate Emily Cain (D-Orono): “We need to be talking about real solutions to the serious epidemic of heroin addiction afflicting our state. Governor LePage’s appalling remarks this week embody the very worst of fear-mongering in politics that hold us back as a state and a nation, and they do not reflect Maine values. There is absolutely no place for this in our public discourse – especially in Maine. Unfortunately, Congressman Bruce Poliquin – who in the past has referred to himself and LePage as ‘good friends’ – has still remained silent on LePage’s ugly remarks. Does Bruce Poliquin defend LePage’s comments?”
3. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland): “At best, the governor’s comments were careless or poorly stated. At worst, they were purposeful and deeply offensive. Either way, they were completely unproductive. Maine’s drug addiction crisis is complex, and impacts ever aspect of life for those affected by it. We need to work on solutions, not reduce the problem to racially charged soundbites.”
4. House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan): “Today, at a national summit of rural state leaders, I am being bombarded by questions about Governor LePage’s hateful statements rather than about what Maine is doing right. At a time when Maine needs leaders to move our state forward, the governor is making national headlines for the wrong reasons yet again. He is making it harder for us to work on policies important to Maine people, whether it’s energy, substance abuse or growing the rural economy.”
5. Assistant Majority Leader Sara Gideon (D-Freeport): “The governor keeps saying he wants to address the state’s drug epidemic. Comments like the one he made in Bridgton keep Maine from moving forward on this front. If the governor is serious about tackling this crisis, he should stop standing in the way of the Legislature’s comprehensive plan and help Mainers desperate for treatment get the care they need.”
A few days later, the governor held a press conference in his Cabinet Room in hopes of clarifying his remarks and discussing the state’s heroin epidemic. From a media advisory:
- AUGUSTA- Governor Paul R. LePage will hold a news conference at 10:00 AM in the Cabinet Room to discuss his recent remarks regarding Maine’s drug crisis. All verified media is welcome to attend.
When: Friday, January 08, 2016, 10:00 AM
Where: Cabinet Room, State House, Augusta
Here is full video from that press conference.
Here are a few parsed out moments from the press conference.
1. Maine Governor Paul LePage to Media: “You Don’t Like Me, and I Don’t Like You”
2. Governor Paul LePage Describes Drug Bust He Personally Witnessed While in Office
3. LePage Accuses Press of Being in Bloggers’ Backpockets
4. LePage To NECN: “Your comment is inappropriate”; “Never said anything about being black”
5. Maine Governor Paul LePage on Drug Omnibus Bill: “Ecstatic” Legislature Taking Up Issue
6. LePage on Media Role in Solving Maine’s Drug Crisis
7. Maine Governor Paul LePage Tells Stories of Addicts, Narcan Usage
8. LePage Tells Media What They Are Missing in Reporting on Maine’s Drug Crisis
9. LePage to WMTW: “Only time I see you in this building… is when you are criticizing me”
10. LePage Verbally Attacks Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond (D-Portland) At Press Conference
11. Maine Governor Paul LePage Hints at New County Jail Program
12. LePage Takes Followup Question, Re: Drug Busts He Has Witnessed
The governor will conduct another public town hall event tomorrow evening in Windham.