Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) may be a civil rights icon, but Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage thinks he could use a history lesson on civil rights in the United States.
The Portland Press Herald reports that LePage slammed Lewis for questioning President-elect Donald Trump’s legitimacy during a regular appearance on a local talk radio show, and he said Lewis needed to show more gratitude to past white presidents who worked to free black people from slavery.
“John Lewis ought to look at history,” the governor told the George Hale and Ric Tyler Show on the Bangor-based radio station WVOM. “It was Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves, it was Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses S. Grant who fought against Jim Crow laws. A simple thank you would suffice.”
Christopher Cousins of the Bangor Daily News writes that LePage is simply incorrect when it comes to the history of Jim Crow laws, however, as Hayes agreed to “an informal deal after a contested election that gave him the White House in exchange for promising to pull Northern troops out of the South,” which thus “allowed Jim Crow laws to take root.”
Elsewhere in his interview, LePage slammed Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) for skipping Trump’s inauguration in solidarity with Lewis, and said that she should resign from her seat if she didn’t want to go.
LePage, who this past summer was caught on tape calling a Maine lawmaker a “son of a b*tch socialist c*cksucker,” also criticized the American left for being “so hateful” and “trying to bully us out of believing our constitution.”