Maine Gov. Paul LePage held a regularly scheduled town hall meeting on Wednesday. On Thursday, the meeting with residents of the town of Bridgton was broadcast. About a half hour into the forum, an audience member asks LePage about what the governor is doing to address substance abuse in the state.
Somehow LePage meandered into this racially coded disaster of an answer (via the Portland Press Herald):
“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,” LePage told a large crowd. “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.”
A spokesperson for the governor refused to be distracted by the words that came out of his boss’s mouth and refocused the debate about substance abuse exactly where you’d expect: taxes. “The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant,” LePage communications director Peter Steele told the Press Herald. “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. His heart goes out to these kids because he had a difficult childhood, too. We need to stop the drug traffickers from coming into our state.”