The Governor of Maine is under fire for using homophobic slurs in an expletive-filled rant left on the voicemail of a Democratic state representative.
Paul LePage, a Republican who has served as Governor of Maine since 2011, left the shocking message on the voicemail of Democratic state rep. Drew Gattine on Wednesday.
It comes after Mr Gattine suggesting that LePage, a Trump supporter who has made outspoken comments about ethnic minorities in the past, is racially insensitive
In the recording, a tired and emotional Governor LePage exclaims: “Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage.
“I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c*cksucker. 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 cockscuker.
“You… I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
Mr Gattine is married to a woman and has two children.
Approached by the Portland Press Herald, LePage doubled down on his comments and appeared to challenge Gattine to a duel to the death.
He said: “When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825, and we would have a duel.
“That’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you… I would not be Alexander Hamilton [Founding Father killed in a duel after declining to shoot].
“I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.”
Mr Gattine says he has not called LePage a racist.
He said: “What I said… is that the kind of racially charged comments the governor made are not at all helpful in solving what the real problem is.
“And that is, we have a crisis in the state of Maine of people overdosing on heroin and prescription drugs and we are not doing enough with respect to treatment and prevention.”
He added of the voicemail: “Obviously that message is upsetting, inappropriate and uncalled for.
“It’s hard to believe it’s from the governor of the state of Maine, but again, we need to stay focused on the drug problem we are facing here in Maine and cannot allow this story to be about the governor’s inappropriate and vulgar behaviours”.
DNC spokesperson TJ Helmstetter said in a statement to PinkNews: “Yesterday, 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.
“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.”