The Associated Press is reporting that Maine Gov. Paul LePage told critics Friday to "kiss my butt" over his decision not to attend the state NAACP's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations over the holiday weekend. LePage declined the organization's invitations to a dinner in Portland on Sunday night and a breakfast in Orono on Monday because of prior commitments.
NAACP State Director Rachel Talbot Ross said that the organization felt the new governor was neglecting it, and Beth Stickney, executive director of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland, said that LePage could at least have sent a representative. To this LePage said, "Tell them to kiss my butt."
"If they want to play the race card, come to dinner and my son will talk to them," he continued, referring to Devon Richard, a 25-year-old black Jamaican whom LePage took into his home at the age of 17. NAACP National President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous called LePage's comments inflammatory. "Gov. LePage's decision to inflame racial tension on the eve of the King holiday denigrates his office," Jealous said. "His words are a reminder of the worst aspects of Maine's history and out of touch with our nation's deep yearning for increased civility and racial healing."
This is the same Tea Party-backed candidate who said that he would tell President Obama to "go to hell" if elected, so why are people surprised? This was his temperament before he was elected. It's sad to say, but not having him there is probably better for the events, which are actually about unity.
Read more at the Associated Press.