Maine’s Republican governor is famous for flying off the handle and not filtering his comments, but a recording of his recent tirade targeting a liberal lawmaker sparked Democrats supporting presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and other progressive lawmakers to call for “a political intervention,” and for Republican nominee Donald Trump to renounce him.
Gov. Paul LePage apologized to “the people of Maine” — but not to the legislator — after he left a voicemail message for Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine that included a homophobic slur and the threat that “I am after you.” LePage then told reporters he wished he could challenge Gattine to a duel and point a gun “right between his eyes.”
Listen to LePage’s rant via the tweet below.
LePage said the angry outburst was justified because Gattine had called him racist — something Gattine denied.
On Friday, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee noted the former secretary of state had challenged Republicans and all Americans to reject hate on Thursday, the same day as LePage’s shrill call.
“Hillary Clinton made a poignant call for Americans of all political stripes to denounce hatred and for Donald Trump to distance his campaign from hate groups,” emailed T.J.Helmstetter.
“The same day, a Republican governor was shouting anti-gay slurs into a political opponent’s voicemail. The Republican Party has a lot of house cleaning to do if it wants to expand its appeal beyond those who find such bigotry acceptable. The Trump campaign should start by condemning LePage’s hateful rant.”
In Portland, Assistant House Democratic Leader Sara Gideon called for a “political intervention” from members of both parties to ensure either that the governor “gets the help that he needs” or that he’s removed from office.