The Governor of Maine has refused to apologise to a lawmaker after calling him a “socialist c**ksucker” in an abusive voicemail.

The state’s outspoken Republican Governor Paul Richard LePage left the shocking message on the voicemail of Democratic state rep. Drew Gattine this week, after Gattine took issue with some of his comments about people of colour.

In the message, the Governor shouts: “I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c**ksucker.

“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 c*cksucker.

“You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”

But despite literally telling the lawmaker to “record this and make it public” in the message, LePage told a press conference that it was “intended for his ears and his ears only.”

He said: “I would like to apologise to the people of the state of Maine for having heard the voicemail I left for Rep. [Drew] Gattine.”

However, he refused to apologise to Gattine, claiming he could not see how what he said was “any more outrageous” than Gattine’s criticism of

In a statement, he continued: “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 apologise 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.”

He also downplayed a threat to shoot Gattine between the eyes in a duel.

He said: “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.”