Maine Governor Paul LePage left a gay slur-laden voicemail for Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine challenging the lawmaker for calling him a racist. He later told reporters he’d shoot Gattine “right between his eyes” in a duel.
Said LePage in the voice message:
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage,” a recording of the governor’s phone message says. “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-bitch, socialist c**ksucker. You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
Gattine had been critical of remarks made by LePage about the state’s heroin epidemic. LePage had said that most of the drug dealers in the state were Black or Hispanic.
“What I said to the television reporter today is that the kind of racially charged comments the governor made are not at all helpful in solving what the real problem is,” Gattine said. “And that is, we have a crisis in the state of Maine of people overdosing on heroin and prescription drugs and we are not doing enough with respect to treatment and prevention.”
LePage also invited reporters to his office where he said he’d like to engage in a gun duel with Gattine, the Portland Press Herald reports:
“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.”
LePage later released a written statement about the voicemail:
“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. So I called Gattine and used the worst word I could think of. 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. 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.”
“When I said I was going after Gattine, I meant I would do everything I could to see that he and his agenda is defeated politically. I am a history buff, and I referenced how political opponents used to call each other out in the 1820s-including Andrew Jackson, the father of the Democratic Party. 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.”