On Thursday, Maine Governor Paul LePage left a voice mail on State Representative Drew Gattine's voice mail and invited him to make it public.
LePage said (audio recording above), “Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage. would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you c***sucker. I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist c***sucker. You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”
Later that day, LePage told some reporters, “When a snot-nosed little guy from Westbrook calls me a racist, now I’d like him to come up here because, tell you right now, I wish it were 1825. And we would have a duel, that’s how angry I am, and I would not put my gun in the air, I guarantee you, I would not be (Alexander) Hamilton. I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.”
Drew Gattine then went on record Thursday saying that he never called LePage a racist, explaining “What I said to the television reporter today is that the kind of racially charged comments the governor made are not at all helpful in solving what the real problem is,”
Friday morning the Governor walked-back his statement regarding a duel and issued a non-apology apology for the people of Maine hearing the voicemail, but not to Mr. Gattine. A portion of the Governor's Friday statement is included in the video above from 1:38 - 1:51. Throughout this short video clip Gov. LePage displays dramatic displays of disgust. The image below was captured during 1:46.
Summary: Paul LePage certainly has disgust for Drew Gattine. It's important to note that the nonverbal example shown above was not however recorded during his voicemail or his subsequent duel "wish" - but rather during his explanation of the incident to reporters.
Physical threats, even those issued in hypothetical scenarios or in alleged joking, should not be readily dismissed. Moreover threats to commit bodily harm when accompanied by nonverbal displays of contempt, disgust or anger - are red flags, often not purely metaphorical and should be taken very seriously.
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