Maine’s Governor Paul LePage is known for a lot of things, including being under consideration for impeachment.
LePage is also one of Governor Chris Christie’s biggest supporters, having endorsed Christie for President in July.
But Christie was conspicuously silent about his gubernatorial cheerleader in the days after LePage was caught on video saying that people from New York state and Connecticut–specifically those with street-sounding nicknames “like D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty”–were largely to blame for the heroin epidemic in his state.
In case there was any doubt his statements were based in virulent racism, LePage confirmed as much by declaring that, “half the time,” the Americans with the street names “impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.”
At the same time Christie was avoiding questions about one of his highest-ranking racist supporters, LePage was busy walking back the statements.
According to the New York Times’ “First Draft” blog, LePage said he would not apologize just moments before apologizing:
On Friday, Mr. LePage, a Republican, characterized the statement as a slip of the tongue.
“I made one slip-up,” the governor said at a televised news conference at the state capitol in Augusta, organized after the remarks became public Thursday evening. “I made a one-word slip-up. I might have made many slip-ups. I was going impromptu, and my brain didn’t catch up to my mouth. Instead of saying ‘Maine women,’ I said ‘white women.’ 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.”
After saying he would not apologize, Mr. LePage seemed to do just that. “So if I slipped up and used the wrong word, I apologize to all the Maine women,” he said.
Christie eventually defended LePage, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I heard Paul’s remarks and frankly, you know, he’s apologized for them,” Christie said.
“Here’s the thing. We can’t judge people by one set of remarks they make especially when those people apologize and genuinely apologize afterwards.”