Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage came under fire for remarks made Wednesday night in which he stated that out-of-state drug dealers with names like "D-Money," "Smoothie" and "Shifty" often "impregnate a young white girl" before they leave the state.
LePage's comments, which have been accused of being "racially charged," were spoken during a town hall-style meeting on the persistent problem of smugglers importing heroin into Maine, according to 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 said, according to the Press Herald. “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.”
Immediately after the meeting, LePage's remarks drew swift criticism from social media, online news outlets, and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign for his "racist rant."
“Governor LePage’s comments tonight are not only offensive and hurtful but they try to cover up the very real epidemic of drug abuse facing people in his state and across the country. LePage’s racist rants sadly distract from efforts to address one of our nation’s most pressing problems,” Clinton's campaign said in a statement, according to MSNBC. “Sadly, Governor LePage’s comments aren’t too dissimilar from the divisive, misleading and hateful rhetoric we’re seeing from Republicans across the country these days."
LePage has since apologized for his remarks, saying during a Friday meeting with reporters that he never intended to bring race issues into the town hall meeting.
“My brain was slower than my mouth," LePage said, claiming that he meant to say “Maine women" instead of a "young white girl," according to the Washington Post.
Many social media users remained unconvinced.
ME Gov. LePage is like the old racist grandfather at a wedding who should never have a mic #justwrong #mepolitics https://t.co/draUrAMoEj— Justine Pouravelis (@Justine Pouravelis) 1452267083.0
LePage says he made a slip up, but will not apologize to Maine women for "white girl" comment, because most of state's population is white.— Grady Trimble (@Grady Trimble) 1452265541.0
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