August 20th, 2013
01:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Maine governor denies saying Obama 'hates white people'

(CNN) - Gov. Paul LePage, known for making controversial comments, reportedly said President Barack Obama "hates white people," according to two Maine newspapers citing unnamed sources.

"I never said that. And you guys are all about gossip," he told reporters as he walked out of the Maine State House in Augusta. His comments were recorded by CNN affiliate WCSH.

The Portland Press Herald reported late Monday night that two state lawmakers said LePage, a Republican, made the comment at a Maine GOP fundraiser on August 12.

The Bangor Daily News also reported that LePage made the comment, citing an unnamed attendee.

The Portland Press Herald wrote that LePage argued Obama would be the best president ever if he would highlight his biracial heritage, but he doesn't do so because of his negative feelings towards white people.

The governor's office and the state Republican Party declined to answer questions from CNN about the incident. And a senior political adviser to LePage refused to even speak to the issue, but sent a prepared statement criticizing the Press Herald and noting that the governor had raised a Jamaican teenager.

"It seems farfetched for anyone, even a newspaper, to make an insinuation the Governor is racist given his life history," said Brent Littlefield, LePage's political adviser. "He and his family made a choice and sacrifice when they offered Devon the opportunity to join their family many years ago. Paul and Ann call him their son. Paul LePage recognized many people helped him make it out of poverty and he has been determined to help others succeed."

LePage took in Devon Raymond Jr., in August 2002 to live with his family. LePage refers to him as his son, though they did not formally adopt him.

Lisa Fortier, who hosted the fundraiser with her husband, told CNN: "I never heard it. I never heard anybody mention it."

LePage's reported comment about Obama marks the latest in a string of off-color remarks by the first-term governor, who plans to run for re-election next year. Earlier this month, LePage joked that he wanted to blow up the headquarters of the Press Herald.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, the paper's majority owner is Donald Sussman, a billionaire manager of boutique hedge funds and a major political donor to Democratic super PACs in 2012, as well as other Democratic campaigns over the years. Sussman is married to Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

Just a few weeks ago, sitting in a flight simulator, LePage was asked where he wanted to fly to.

"I want to find the Portland Press Herald building and blow it up," he replied, according to video posted on the website of the Daily News.

Later, LePage explained on Twitter he was making a joke.

The governor also caused a stir in June when he made a crude sexual reference to describe a Democratic state lawmaker.

"Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline," LePage told the television station WMTW, referring to state Sen. Troy Jackson.

And last year, he apologized for referring to the Internal Revenue Service as the "Gestapo" in his weekly radio address.

"It was not my intent to insult anyone, especially the Jewish Community, or minimize the fact that millions of people were murdered," the governor said in a statement.

LePage was elected in 2010, after first winning a crowded GOP primary, then narrowly winning the general election with 38% of the vote. In addition to the Democratic candidate, LePage also ran against two independents. The three candidates caused a wide split in his opposition.

- CNN's Ashley Killough and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


Filed under: Maine • Paul LePage • President Obama
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Steve R

    Just another dinosaur heading towards extinction.

    August 20, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Tiger

    It's an honest opinion, if he did say it.... What's the problem?

    August 20, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. DaveinIL

    More trival buII from CNN and the liberal media to avoid the current issues – NSA spying, Arab spring implosion, Benghazi deaths, lousy economy, IRS targeting, and the list goes on.

    August 20, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. guapo

    O'Bama and his wife hate whites.But whites them back big time.

    August 20, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. NameLindaHardge

    LePage is just another Republican who think he can get away with racial overtones. No White American has ever been preyed upon as our Black President. When Black people do the same thing they are antisemetic or causing a division in races. Wake up America there will always be a disparity of the races because Whites still have a superiority complex. If by chance any so_called White Christan American is lucky enough to go to heaven when they die, tell Jesus that and down to hell you will be banished. Heaven has no race problem.

    August 20, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. DaveinCincy

    If Obama had a son, he would like Christopher Lane....oh wait....SILENCE! Jessee, Al, the A.G and Obama are all blantant racists. So are a good portion of their supporters. Charge the C. Lane murderers with a blatant hate crime. Where you at attorney general? Oh wait...he was WHITE!

    August 20, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. billleesbrain

    There go those Democrats...playing that race card again.....oh, wait. Never mind.

    August 20, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    I can Piers Morgan talking about this now

    August 20, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. GTFO

    Like the liberal plant in the pro Zimmerman protests, this looks like an underhanded attempt by the left to deface the right. Those spreading these reports likely wish to remain anonymous not because they wish to avoid political reprisal but because they fear slander charges. LePage, like every other American should have the right to face his accusers if they are going to be given the chance to assassinate his political career.

    August 20, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Polar Bear

    "Unnamed sources" taken as fact and reported. Geez.

    August 20, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Lenny Pincus

    Idiots like Obama get elected because he isn't really an idiot. He's a very intelligent, even-tempered guy. He got elected because the opposition pulled out every stereotype they could think of, but most normal people saw through the winger horse manure and found him to be the best candidate.

    Keep it up with the same kind of stereotypes with Hillary and she will win too. Engage her intelligently and you may have a chance.

    August 20, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. al

    If he is a republican and white and has gray hair there is a good chance he said it.

    August 20, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Peter

    This fellow sure has a way with words, eh?

    August 20, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. noteasilyswayed

    Racism and divisiveness are alive and growing all throughout this country..... and the media keeps these things in the forefront because sensationalism sells news.

    August 20, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. dragonfire0477

    Hey, guv...you know this internet thing? Yeah...it's got a pretty long memory, you might wanna watch what you say....

    August 20, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Beavis

    I'd like to know how unnamed sources have so much credibility

    August 20, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Bo

    Whether he said it or not doesn't change the fact that it is true.

    August 20, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Bob
    How do these idiots get elected?
    -------–

    Read the comments from those who are either cheering this man on or have now been given an opportunity to voice their approval of his opinion by adding their own flavor to his comment.

    August 20, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. ????

    It is interesting to note that the most dysfunctional ethnic group in America has somehow been designated the arbiter of what is and what is not considered "racist".

    August 20, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. DC Johnny

    He didn't say it... but let's be honest here... shouldn't we be focusing on why the President prefers the needs of minorities over whites, the views of Muslims over Christians and Jews, the rights of illegal alien criminal trespassers over legal immigrants and U.S. citizens?

    August 20, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. De Odorizer

    @nona:... you wrote: "Show me the proof that Obozo ISN"T racist!" and called the president a te.r.d....
    First of all, you don't prove that you are NOT something. (how could I prove that I am not a frog, a table, a bottle of milk?, there is no established methodology to prove something of that sort).
    Secondly, your entire rambling statement only confirms that you are the 'hater'. Would you like to add something to your mouth diarrhea?

    August 20, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Mightyduk

    If the term bafoon ever fit any one it is this guy.

    August 20, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. RCM

    After opening your big mouth it is alway best to recant the next day.

    August 21, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Joan

    Since his beloved mother and grandparents were white, this statement is ignorant and over the top. No surprise though.

    August 21, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. WVLady 63

    Here we go again. SO WHAT IF HE SAID THIS???? ITS CALLED FREEDOM OF SPEECH AT LEAST IT USED TO BE. Everyone knows that Obama is the biggest racist that has ever drawn a breath! Since he has been in office he has done everything in his power to degrade, criticize and villify white people! If you don't think this is true, WHAT PLANET HAVE YOU BEEN ON SINCE HE WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT????? If you are every color BUT white in this country you can do and say anything you want without fear of retribution, BUT, if you are white, YOU DO NOT HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH OR ANY OTHER KIND OF FREEDOMS BECAUSE THE BLACKS, MEXICANS AND EVERY OTHER RACE ON THE PLANET HAVE TAKEN IT AWAY FROM US! So, the Governor of Maine speaks the truth and he is criticized, NEED I SAY MORE????? This debacle proves my point! If you don't like the color of someone's car, you are a racist, if you don't like the color of someone's house, you are a racist. Anytime a white person doesn't like something, they are racists! In this country we USED to have Freedom of Choice and for people who are racists and don't like blacks, mexicans, etc., THAT IS YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE NOT TO LIKE THESE PEOPLE! AT LEAST IT USED TO BE A RIGHT! All any race has to do is whine and white people are immediately crucified. We are a nation of complacent, mealy-mouthed wimps who have let blacks, mexicans and every other race on the planet destroy our freedoms, our way of life and our well-being. Until people step out of complacency and start standing up for themselves, we are all doomed!

    August 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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