Maine Gov. Paul LePage is under fire for making racist statements at a town meeting on Wednesday, saying, “drug dealers with stereotypically black names are importing heroin to Maine and leaving pregnant white women behind when they leave the state again,” according to Think Progress.
LePage made the response to a question from a woman who asked how he planned to combat drug abuse in the state. He brought up a measure he has proposed to institute tougher penalties on out-of-state drug traffickers.
From Think Progress:
“Now the traffickers, these aren’t people that take drugs. These are guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty,” LePage said, drawing chuckles from the crowd in Bridgton, ME. “These type of guys that come from CT and NY, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home.”
“Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave,” LePage added. “Which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve gotta deal with down the road. We’re gonna make ‘em very severe penalties.”
LePage’s communications director Peter Steele told the Portland Press Herald that LePage “is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant. 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.”
LePage is the first major elected official to endorse Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, writes The New York Times. The Democratic National Committee on Thursday called on Christie to denounce LePage, according to a statement from Michael Tyler, the director of African-American media:
“Paul LePage’s comments are disgusting, racist, and represent the worst form of conservative politics – one that plays to the darkest elements of the Republican Party’s base. By remaining silent, Gov. Christie condones LePage’s racist comments and his worldview. If Chris Christie has a single ounce of integrity, he’ll immediately renounce Gov. LePage’s endorsement. Anything short of a full repudiation of LePage’s endorsement will send a clear message to the American people that Republicans are more interested in emulating Donald Trump than in serving – and respecting – all Americans.”
Do you think Christie will denounce LePage? Sound off in the comments…