The governor of Maine, Paul LePage, has made some controversial remarks — which some have decried as “racist” — about out-of-state drug dealers coming into Maine, saying they have names like “D-Money” and that “half the time they impregnate a young, white girl.”
Addressing Maine’s drug challenges at a town hall Wednesday, LePage, a Republican, said, “These are guys by the name D-Money, Smoothy, Shifty. These type of guys that come from Connecticut and New York. They come up here and sell heroin, then 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’ve got another issue we have to deal with down the road,” he continued.
In the wake of the remarks, a spokesman for the governor said Thursday that LePage was not talking about race and that “race is irrelevant” to the case he is making.
“The Governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant,” Communications Director Peter Steele told ABC News in an email. ”What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers.”
LePage has endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the 2016 presidential race and even hit the road to campaign alongside him in New Hampshire last month.
Christie’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment from ABC News.
The Democratic National Committee has labeled LePage’s comments as “racist” and called on Christie to renounce LePage’s endorsement.
“If Chris Christie has a single ounce of integrity, he’ll immediately renounce Gov. LePage’s endorsement,” the Director of the DNC’s African American Media Michael Tyler said in a statement. “Anything short of a full repudiation of LePage’s endorsement will send a clear message to the American people that Republicans are more interested in emulating Donald Trump than in serving – and respecting – all Americans.”