A day after Maine’s Republican leadership ordered a meeting with Paul LePage, the state’s embattled governor who recently ignited yet another wave of controversy with a series of racially charged remarks, the two-term governor revealed Tuesday that he is considering resigning from office.
“I think some things I’ve been asked to do are beyond my ability,” LePage told radio station WVOM. “I’m not going to say I’m not going to finish it; I’m not going to say I am going to finish it.” He suggested “there is going to be a significant change in leadership” because of the “very difficult environment” created by an ongoing feud with the state’s House Speaker Mark Eves, who is a Democrat.
Throughout the interview, he expressed regret over leaving an expletive-laden voicemail directed at one of his Democratic critics, Rep. Drew Gattine, last week. In the message, LePage threatened the state representative and called him a “socialist cocksucker.” LePage believed Gattine had called him a racist after he publicly claimed 90 percent of the state’s drug traffickers are either black or Latino.
“Deep down in my heart I know I’m not a racist,” Lepage said in Tuesday’s interview. “I am a lot of different things, and I have faults like everybody else, but a racist is like a word that I just can’t explain—it’s like calling a black man the ‘N word’ or a woman the ‘C word.’ It just absolutely knocked me off of my feet.”
On Monday, a previously scheduled town hall meeting with LePage was canceled. Instead, Republican leaders in the state’s Legislature met with him and demanded “corrective action.”
“I think there is a lot more to be done and move the state forward,” LePage said. “I just need to see whether I’m the man to do it.”