Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said Tuesday he felt an obligation to raise awareness about "black dealers" who bring drugs into the state, even though he previously claimed that race should not be brought into the discussion.
Last month, LePage railed against drug traffickers contributing to the state's heroin epidemic, saying that "guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty ... come up here, they sell their heroin, and they go back home."
"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 that we've got to deal with down the road," he added in comments that took off nationwide and landed him in hot water.
He later held a press conference and insisted he never meant to make the issue about race.
"I never said anything about white or black traffickers. ... What are they, black? I don't know. I just read the names," he said.
But on Tuesday, he seemed to reveal his true feelings.
"I had to go scream at the top of my lungs about black dealers coming in and doing the things that they’re doing to our state," he said on his weekly radio appearance on WVOM. "I had to scream about guillotines and those types of things before they were embarrassed into giving us a handful of DEA agents. That is what it takes with this 127th [legislature]. It takes outrageous comments and outrageous actions to get them off the dime."
And for the record, there are also white drug dealers in Maine.
LePage has had a tense relationship with the Democratic-controlled state House, which recently tried -- and failed -- to begin impeachment proceedings against him. LePage also skipped the governor's traditional State of the State address before the legislature, instead submitting his remarks in a letter. He devoted a considerable amount of time in the letter to attacking "socialist" lawmakers.
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