Depending on who you ask, Maine Governor Paul LePage's latest quote is either nothing out of the ordinary or outrageously shocking. Those familiar with LePage will react with a sort of irked nonchalance -- Oh, of course he said that -- while everyone else reacts with the sort of fury you'd expect when a governor claims the mixed-race president of the United States hates 78 percent of the population, including half of his own family.
The Portland Press Herald has the scoop:
Gov. Paul LePage told a group of Republicans last week that President Obama "hates white people," according to two state lawmakers who say they heard the remark directly ....
The lawmakers, both Republicans, confirmed the comment when asked by a Portland Press Herald reporter but asked that their names be withheld for fear of political retribution.
Each said LePage talked about how Obama could have been the best president ever if he had highlighted his biracial heritage. LePage said the president hasn't done that because he hates white people.
"Yeah, he said it," said one of the lawmakers. "It was one little thing from a speech, but I think most people there thought it was totally inappropriate."
The weary tone of that anonymous lawmaker hints at LePage's history of similar quotes. Set aside his claim about Obama; it's hard to believe the staunchly conservative governor would ever have been a fan of the president. The two men have legitimate policy differences, but LePage's ledger of commentary goes far beyond that.