- The Washington Times - Friday, January 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s campaign slammed Maine Gov. Paul LePage for controversial comments he made Wednesday about drug dealers impregnating young white girls.

Marlon Marshall, who oversees states and political engagement for Mrs. Clinton, said in a statement Thursday night that the Republican governor’s comments were “offensive” and “try to cover up the very real epidemic of drug abuse facing people in his state and across the country. LePage’s racist rants sadly distract from efforts to address one of our nation’s most pressing problems,” Politico reported.

Mr. LePage sparked a firestorm of controversy over comments he made at a town hall event on Wednesday, when he was asked about measures he is taking to minimize Maine’s drug problem.

“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,” he said. “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’ve go to deal with down the road.”

Peter Steele, a spokesman for the governor’s office, insisted Thursday that Mr. LePage’s comments were not racial in nature.

“The governor is not making comments about race,” Mr. Steele said in a statement. “Race is irrelevant. 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. His heart goes out to these kids because he had a difficult childhood too. We need to stop the drug traffickers from coming into our state.”

On Friday, Mr. LePage held a news conference to address the backlash.

“I was going impromptu and my brain didn’t catch up to my mouth,” he explained. “Instead of Maine women, I said white women. I’m not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine you will see we are essentially 95 percent white.”

“If you want to make it racist, go right ahead and do whatever you want,” he added.

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