Maine's LePage: 'Black dealer' comment aimed at getting DEA resources

Governor defends racial comments
maine governor paul lepage shifty d money_00001412

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Governor defends racial comments 01:15

(CNN)Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Tuesday he made the "outrageous" comments about "black dealers" to get more Drug Enforcement Administration resources, alluding to past controversial comments he made about drug dealers.

"I had to go scream at the top of my lungs about black dealers coming in and doing the things that they're doing to our state," LePage told the radio station WVOM-FM. "I had to scream about guillotines and those types of things before they were embarrassed into giving us a handful of DEA agents."
The interview was focused on LePage's priorities for the state, which he sent in a letter to the Maine Legislature rather than delivering in a formal State of the State address, including the need to have adequate support from the Drug Enforcement Agency, and adequate pay for state police.
At a January town hall LePage was asked about what his state was doing about its drug problem.
    "These aren't the people who take drugs. These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty. These type of guys. They come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home," LePage had said. "Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we've got to deal with down the road."
    Less than 48 hours later, LePage denied that his comments about drug dealers impregnating "white" women were racially charged, and blamed media for the wrong interpretation.
    He semi-apologized for his wording -- saying that he "made one slip-up."
    "I was going impromptu in my brain, didn't catch up to my mouth. Instead of saying, 'Maine women,' I said, 'White women.' I'm not going to apologize to the Maine women for that because if you go to Maine you will see we are essentially 95% white," he said.
    LePage denied using names like "Smoothie" for their racial connotation. He also rejected the suggestion that race played any role in his reference to "a young, white girl."
    CNN has reached out to Le Page for comment, and to specifically ask if Tuesday's interview was referring to the controversial comments he made in January.