Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) asserted last week that President Barack Obama "hates white people," two state lawmakers who were attending his Aug. 12 speech at a Maine Republican Party fundraiser have said.
The lawmakers confirmed to the Portland Press Herald on Monday that LePage told the audience that Obama could have been a great president because he was biracial. But the president had chosen not to highlight his heritage, proving that he hates white people.
"Yeah, he said it," one the lawmakers insisted. "It was one little thing from a speech, but I think most people there thought it was totally inappropriate."
However, Republican state Reps. Alex Willette and Larry Dunphy told the Press Herald that they did not remember that comment during the speech.
"I didn't hear him say anything like that," Willette said, adding that he had been preoccupied during the event with trying to raise money to run for the 2nd Congressional District seat.
LePage's director of communications declined to comment because the event was not official government business.
If the governor did make the comments, it would not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with his history of controversial remarks.
More recently, he compared the Internal Revenue Service to the Nazi Gestapo and said that Maine Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson would be "the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline."
Update (2:30 p.m. ET): LePage on Tuesday denied that he ever said that President Barack Obama "hates white people."
"I never said that," the governor told reporters. "And you guys are all about gossip. Goodbye."
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(h/t: The Hill)