Maine’s Republican Governor LePage left a phone message for state lawmaker Democratic Representative Drew Gattine that proves he’s gone full Trump. Hates the press, goes crazy based on an unproven charge, threatens Democrats, and thinks he’s winning? Check, check, check, and check.
In the message LePage demanded that Gattine prove LePage is a racist, threatened the legislator, and peppered the message with homophobic obscenities for good measure. And then he demanded that Gattine make the message public, as if proud of his temper tantrum.
The Press Herald got a copy of the Thursday morning message with a Freedom of Access Act request last night, and here it is (audio is at link but not safe for work):
“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you co*ks*cker. 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 co*ks*cker.”
Then LePage adds that he’s “after” the Democrat, “You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
LePage sent the message in a fit after a reporter asked him what he would say to people who call him a racist. LePage demanded to know who had called him a racist, (sound familiar?), the reporter mentioned speaking to Rep. Gattine but never said that Gattine called LePage a racist.
But in Trump Republican world, facts don’t matter. It’s all about feelings. And in Republican Trump world, it’s worse to call someone out on their racist ideas than it is to be a racist and thus harm untold numbers of people.
LePage responded to this question by having a temper tantrum and telling the press “You make me so sick” and then “stormed off”, according the Press Herald.
The Press Herald explained, “The exchange followed remarks the governor made in North Berwick on Wednesday night about the racial makeup of suspects arrested on drug trafficking charges in Maine.”
If you’re wondering if LePage had a rethink and calmed down, he later said that he wished it were “1825” so he could duel the Democrat, and “I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton. 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.”
So LePage would shoot a Democratic legislator because a reporter said he talked to him and suggested that Gattine might have called LePage a racist by the conflation in his response, but these words were not actually spoken. The reporter never said that Gattine called LePage a racist, and Gattine claims that he never did.
That’s just bsc right there. Full Republican Trump style. No need to verify anything before going off half cocked and threatening to kill someone.
It’s also a common right wing tactic to demand someone prove the person is a racist, as if acting like a racist, saying racist things, and supporting racist policies isn’t enough.
Sorry, but it is enough. It is the definition of racism and therefor makes the person doing it a… racist.
The media has to stop coddling Republicans and pretending that what they are doing and saying is okay, when in fact threatening to kill Democratic opponents, calling for Hillary Clinton to be shot by a firing squad, and suggesting Hillary Clinton might be murdered if she gets elected in order to stop her from or punish her for picking Supreme Court Justices is not okay.
Governor LePage is so gone he wanted this thug message with its threat published.
LePage proves that the Republican Party didn’t get handed Trump as a one-off mistake. They worked hard to cultivate a party of bigotry, racism and hatred so offensive that threatening violence is their normal go-to. They did this in 2008, 2010 and now again in 2016.
Trump is simply the most elevated example of what the Republican Party has allowed itself to become after decades of Southern strategy cowardice.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.