Gov. Paul LePage sent a letter to Republican lawmakers, apologizing for “any difficulty that remarks recently reported in the press” may have caused them.
The governor has been under fire for his comments at an Aug. 12 political fundraiser in Belgrade, during which he reportedly accused President Barack Obama of disliking white people. The comments have been confirmed to the BDN by several attendees,, who have chosen to remain anonymous for fear of political reprisal. LePage denied making the comments to television reporters on Tuesday.
In his letter, published in full below, the governor says he does not believe Obama dislikes white people, but did not clarify what, exactly, he said at the fundraiser.
My fellow Republicans, I write to you to apologize for any difficulty that remarks recently reported in the press may have caused you. I had hoped that this matter, which was fueled by rumor and innuendo in the media, would die down. But there are some who are still fanning the flames.
Let me be clear, I do not believe that President Obama dislikes any racial group.
From my own family experience, I have seen and felt the effects of poverty and prejudice on our society. I believe that President Obama had perhaps the most unique opportunity in history to bring the country together. He could have been a great unifier for this nation. It is unfortunate that the President has missed that opportunity. It is also unfortunate that the media seized on this opportunity to try to divide us even more and create a problem where there is none.
Newspapers owned by politically motivated and powerful elitists relentlessly attack my every word and often mischaracterize my comments. They highlight negativity and partisan finger-pointing while putting important issues in the background—or they fail to report them at all. Ultimately, the goal of these media attacks is to prevent us from moving Maine ahead so the same old establishment politicians and their wealthy power brokers can maintain the status quo.
I grew up on the streets, where my first language was French, and I am not a polished speaker. I am plain-spoken, and I do not always use the correct wording while making a point. Yes, I can be blunt. But, as I have learned throughout my life, a person’s actions speak louder than their words.
So let’s focus on the progress we are making to create jobs, improve the economy, reduce taxes and reform welfare. Working together, our actions will build a better Maine.
Paul R. LePage