State senator apologized for Facebook post linking Obama to ISIS

Sen. Michael Willette, R-Presque Isle, has apologized for a Facebook post linking President Barack Obama to the terrorist group that calls itself Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS.

The post consisted of an image of the president with the text: “Why haven’t I done anything about ISIS? Because I’ll deal with them at the family reunion.”

State Sen. Michael Willette, R-Presque Isle.

State Sen. Michael Willette, R-Presque Isle.

The post was accompanied by a comment from Willette, in which the senator said the image was “too good to pass up.”

In a prepared statement, Willette apologized for sharing the post, which originated from a page called “Conservative News Today,” but not for its content.

“I apologize for posting this on Facebook,” Willette said in a prepared statement. “Like too many people these days, I fell into the trap of posting something first and then thinking later.”

The Maine Democratic Party has decried Willette for perpetuating a “false racial, religious and ethnic slur at a time when our state and country should come together.”

“This reflects very poorly on the Maine Republican Party and we urge their leadership to denounce Sen. Willette’s actions,” wrote party chairman Phil Bartlett.

Willette’s post became public after Mike Tipping, spokesman for the liberal Maine People’s Alliance, publicized it on his blog, which is hosted by the Bangor Daily News. Democrats were also shopping it around to reporters throughout the morning.

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.