Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said during a Friday morning news conference that he never mentioned race when he said New York City heroin dealers often “impregnate” white women in his state.
LePage said at one of his regular town hall meetings on Thursday that “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie” and “Shifty” who sell heroin in Maine often “impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.”
In Friday’s news conference, he said that he didn’t know the race of “D-Money” and other offenders.
“I get a report, and they’re saying his street name ‘D-Money,’ street name ‘Smoothie.’ I don’t know where they’re from,” LePage said. “I know where they’re from, I don’t know if they’re white, black, Asian, I don’t know.”
“If you want to make it racist, go right ahead and do what you want,” he added.
LePage said reporters must “get your heads out of the sands” and accused them of being in the “back pockets of Maine bloggers.” His original comments were reported by a blog that LePage called adversarial and were later picked up by the state’s largest newspaper, the Portland Press Herald.
LePage opened the news conference by paraphrasing the iconic movie character Rocky Balboa. He then said he wouldn’t apologize, instead offering that “my brain was slower than my mouth.”
“Instead of ‘Maine women,’ I said ‘white women’ and I’m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine, you’ll see that we’re essentially 95 percent white,” he said.
Later in the conference, he briefly changed his tune. “So if I slipped up and used the wrong word, I apologize to Maine women,” he said.
Here’s a video of LePage’s original comments, via the Portland Press Herlad.