Gov. LePage Apologizes For Voice Mail Tirade, Maine Dems Call LePage ‘An Increasingly Menacing Figure’
In a move that had to be widely expected, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has issued an apology to the people of Maine for his profanity-laced voice mail threatening Westbrook State Rep. Drew Gattine, but he did not apologize to Gattine personally for his remarks.
Below is the audio and the transcript of the voice mail LePage left for Gattine.
WARNING: NSFW AUDIO
This is the full transcript:
Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you **********. 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 **********. You... I need you to... just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public, because I am after you. Thank you.”
In a statement released on Aug. 26, LePage explained his remarks, saying he meant no physical harm to Gattine.
“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.”
In a video posted on the Portland Press Herald website, at a press conference with Gattine, Assistant House Majority Leader Sara Gideon said she believed LePage is "unfit to serve as governor." She also said that the LePage "clearly crossed the line and issued criminally threatening statements to Rep. Gattine, we are actually truly concerned for his safety at this point and we would like to see what investigations will ensue."
In the news conference, Gattine said "when I got that message yesterday, my first thought was I was really glad I wasn't in the room with him when he left it, because he really sounded somebody who was about to commit physical violence. It was really a stunning message."
Maine Democratic Party Chair Phil Bartlett condemned LePage's remarks to Gattine in a statement on the Maine Democratic Party website.
“Governor LePage’s direct threat against Rep. Gattine is both erratic and disturbing, and he is clearly unfit to lead our state. Not only did the governor blatantly say he would take violent action against a sitting lawmaker, he also twice invoked a homophobic slur to drive home his point. Those reckless remarks may incite others to violence. Our primary concern right now is for the security and well-being of Rep. Gattine and his family. Paul LePage is an increasingly menacing figure who does not reflect the values of our state.”