Maine Gov. Paul LePage left a state lawmaker an expletive-laden voicemail Thursday morning in which he refuted accusations of being a racist.
The Republican governor called Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine to yell at him, after a television reporter appeared to say the lawmaker was among several people who had called him a racist.
"Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage," he said. "I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c—-sucker."
"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 c—-sucker," LePage continued. "You ... I need you to, just friggin'. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you."
According to the Portland Press Herald, LePage also called the daily newspaper and a local television crew to his home to slam Gattine as "a snot-nosed little guy."
Gattine has denied calling the governor a racist, though he has long opposed some of LePage's welfare and drug enforcement reforms.
"I'd like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825," LePage reportedly said in the 30-minute interview Thursday. "We would have a duel, that's how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be 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."
Gattine called the message "upsetting, inappropriate and uncalled for."
LePage has a history of making controversial remarks. In January, he was in the spotlight for saying drug dealers impregnate "white girls." Earlier this week, he commented that over 90 percent of drug dealers arrested in Maine are black or Hispanic.