Maine Gov. Paul LePage apologizes for 'white girl' remark

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Maine Governor's Remarks About Out-Of-State Drug Traffickers

Maine's tough-talking governor admitted he made a "mistake" and apologized Friday for making what has been widely condemned as a racist remark at a town hall meeting.

But Gov. Paul LePage insisted he was being unfairly pilloried for "one slip-up."

SEE EARLIER COVERAGE: Maine Governor: Drug dealers often 'impregnate a young white girl'

"I was going impromptu and my brain didn't catch up to my mouth," LePage said. "Instead of Maine women I said white women. ... If you go to Maine, you can see it's 95 percent white."

Then LePage went after the journalists who reported his gaffe.

"If I was perfect, I would be a reporter," LePage said. "If you want to make it racist, go ahead and do what you want."

See more about Gov. Paul LePage:

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage apologizes for 'white girl' remark
Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at campaign stop, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Portland, Maine.(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
MEXICO, ME - MARCH 22: Gov. Paul LePage holds a town hall-style meeting in Mexico, Maine. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) after LePage introduced him at a campaign rally in Portland, Maine March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Joel Page
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 8: Gov. Paul LePage signals that he is done with answering questions during a 'town hall' session at the Abromson Center at the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 8: Gov. Paul LePage brings his town hall tour to Portland, speaking at the Abromson Center at the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 8: Gov. Paul LePage brings his town hall tour to Portland, speaking at the Abromson Center at the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - DECEMBER 8: Gov. Paul LePage brings his town hall tour to Portland, speaking at the Abromson Center at the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. An audience member holds up a sign as Gov. LePage leaves the room. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
LEWISTON, ME - OCTOBER 13: Gov. Paul LePage waved goodbye to the audience after holding a town hall style forum at the Regional Technical Center at Lewiston High School Tuesday, October 13, 2015. The Governor addressed issues of education, minimum wage, gun control, and more. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
SACO, ME - SEPTEMBER 19: Governor Paul LePage cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the Riverwalk bridge dedication ceremony in Saco, ME on Saturday, September 19, 2015. (Photo by Whitney Hayward/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PORTLAND - JUNE 3: Governor Paul LePage speaks about a grant from the Maine Department of Corrections to fund the Building Alternatives program at Learning Works. (Photo by Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, ME - JANUARY 7: At the end of his inauguration speech, Gov. Paul LePage waves to the crowd at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. (Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, ME - JANUARY 7: Sen. Pres. Michael Thibodeau administers the oath of office to Gov. Paul LePage while First Lady Ann LePage looks on during his inauguration at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. (Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, ME - JANUARY 7: After taking the stage, Gov. Paul LePage acknowledges cheers from the crowd during his inauguration at the Augusta Civic Center on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. (Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
LEWISTON, ME - NOVEMBER 5: Maine Governor Paul LePage speaks to supporters at the Franco American Heritage Center after being reelected on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. (Photo by Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
AUBURN, ME - OCTOBER 21: Gov. Paul LePage talks with Jim Wellehan of Auburn in the lobby of WMTW television in Auburn, Tuesday, October 21, 2014, following the final of six gubernatorial debates. (Photo by Gabe Souza/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, ME - OCTOBER 15: Current Maine governor Paul LePage before the Maine State Chamber's Gubernatorial Forum at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, ME on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Whitney Hayward/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, ME - July 15: Maine Governor Paul LePage in his office at the State House in Augusta. (Photo by John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
GRAY, ME - JUNE 3: Gov. Paul LePage speaks at a Storey Brothers Excavating site in Gray on Tuesday. Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
Maine Governor Paul LePage delivers his State of the State Address in the House Chambers at the State House in Augusta on Tuesday February 4, 2014. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
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LePage also slammed his state's media, saying they aren't reporting enough on Maine's growing drug problem.

"Get your heads out of the sand," he said.

LePage got into hot water on Thursday night about half-an-hour into a meeting in Bridgton, Maine, when he began talking about the heroin problem and and blamed out-of-state drug dealers.

"These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty — these types of guys — they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home," LePage told a large crowd made up mostly of supporters.

Then LePage added: "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 have to deal with down the road."

The reaction was fast and furious, with moderate Republicans joining outraged Democrats in condemning LePage's comments.

"LePage's racist rants sadly distract from efforts to address one of our nation's most pressing problems," Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Marlon Marshall said in a statement.

Le Page's spokesman defended his boss.

"The governor is not making comments about race," Peter Steele said. "Race is irrelevant. What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers."

LePage has a history of making controversial cracks. Three years ago he caught heat for saying at a private function that President Obama "hates white people." He denied making the remark.

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