“You’s don’t like me and I don’t like you.”
That’s how Gov. Paul LePage began his press conference on Friday to formally address the racially charged remarks he made this week about drug dealers with names like “D-Money” and “Smoothie” coming to “impregnate” young white girls in Maine.
LePage’s opening line, which he cited as a quote from the film “Rocky,” was aimed squarely at media and reporters in the room.
“I made one slip-up,” he said. “I was going impromptu and my brain didn’t catch up to my mouth.”
“Instead of saying Maine women, I said white women,” he added. “I’m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine, you will see we are 95 percent white.”
LePage’s seven-minute non-apology continued as he portrayed himself as a victim of blogging culture and the media. He specifically attacked MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for “going after” him for years and focusing only on the Republican governor’s more unrefined and insensitive moments.
“I’m not perfect,” he said. “If I was, I’d be a reporter.”
The controversy comes at a particularly inopportune time for the embattled Republican governor. Democrats in the state are moving forward with a plan to try to impeach him over accusations that he threatened to block state funding for a charter school after it hired LePage’s political adversary, House Speaker Mark Eves (D), to be its president last summer.