Maine governor Paul LePage has apologised for his 'racist' remark about out-of-state drug traffickers impregnating 'white girls' by saying that the state of Maine is '95% white'.
Mr LePage was speaking at one of his regular town hall meetings in Bridgeton, Maine on Wednesday night about how he was tackling substance abuse in Maine and how many drugs were coming to Maine from out-of-state drug dealers.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Mr LePage said: “These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty – these types of guys – they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home.
“Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road,” he added.
LePage’s spokesperson defended his boss by saying race was “irrelevant” and Mr LePage did not make comments about race.
Strong criticism from the media prompted the 67-year-old governor to apologise for the remark on Friday.
He told NBC News: “I was going impromptu and my brain didn't catch up to my mouth. Instead of Maine women I said white women. ... If you go to Maine, you can see it's 95 percent white.”
LePage has a history of making controversial remarks. In 2013 he reportedly said at a private function in Serbia that President Obama “hates white people”.
This is the second high-profile incident of controversy surrounding drug abuse in New England. Earlier this week Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush wrote in a blog that he was surprised by the use of heroin in New Hampshire and partially blamed Mexican drug cartels for the problem.