Maine Governor Paul LePage made it pretty clear why he’s on Team Trump during a racist, fact-free rant last Friday.
Earlier this week, he said he keeps a binder with mugshots of all the drug dealers arrested in Maine, and he claimed that 90 percent of the people in that binder were black or Hispanic.
Note that 95 percent of Maine residents are white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
On Friday, LePage first denied that Maine police officers were racially profiling people ― an obvious concern if they really are arresting almost exclusively people of color for drug crimes.
Then the governor suggested that people of color in Maine were “the enemy.”
“Look, a bad guy is a bad guy, I don’t care what color it is. When you go to war, if you know the enemy, the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, you shoot at red, don’t you?” he said. “You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority right now coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin. I can’t help that. I just can’t help it. Those are the facts.”
The Governor of Maine. pic.twitter.com/UjjVZYEscA
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) August 27, 2016
According FBI statistics published by the Portland Press Herald, of the 1,211 people arrested on drug charges, only 170 — or 14.1% — were Black. “Almost all the rest were white,” notes the paper.
LePage — who enthusiastically endorsed Trump back in January, saying “I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular” — has a history of offensive remarks about minorities.
“Back in January, LePage was responding to a question about how he has handled the state’s opioid epidemic when he said ‘guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty’ come from New York and Connecticut to sell their heroin in Maine, and ‘half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave,’” according to the Washington Post.
“He once told the Maine NAACP to ‘kiss my butt,’ and vowed to tell President Obama to ‘go to hell,’” also notes the Portland Press Herald.
Maine legislators are expressing concern about LePage’s disturbing behavior. Democratic leaders have suggested Republicans urge LePage to resign, while a leading Republican State Senator has suggested a censure vote.
“I share your deep concerns regarding the governor’s behavior,” Republican State Sen. Amy Volk wrote in a Facebook post. “What I do not know is whether it is due to substance abuse, mental illness or just ignorance. I certainly hope that his family and small circle of close staff are considering how best to address the issue. Things definitely appear to be out of control.”
“Volk said legislative leadership is considering whether to hold a special session of the Legislature to discuss the matter,” according to the Press Herald.
In June of last year, Trump launched his campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists,” and claimed that they are bringing drugs and crime. It’s no surprise, then, that LePage said that he and Trump were “one of the same cloth” during that enthusiastic endorsement earlier this year.