Le Page asked who had called him that and the reporter said he had talked to Gattine, but didn’t say Gattine had called the governor a racist.Le Page then reacted, told the reporters “you make me so sick,” and stormed off.He later called the same reporters to the Blaine House for an interview, told them he had called Gattine and said he hoped the lawmaker would make the governor’s phone message public.The Press Herald made a Freedom of Access Act request for the phone message, and Gattine provided a copy to the Press Herald around p.m.“Obviously that message is upsetting, inappropriate and uncalled for,” Gattine said Thursday night.
Drew Gattine was among several people who had called the governor a racist, which Gattine later denied. Paul Richard Le Page,” a recording of the governor’s phone message says. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist (expletive). Thank you.” Le Page later invited a Portland Press Herald reporter and a two-person television crew from WMTW to the Blaine House, where during a 30-minute interview the governor described his anger with Gattine and others, told them he had left the phone message and said he wished he and the lawmaker could engage in an armed duel to settle the matter.
“What I said to the television reporter today is that the kind of racially charged comments the governor made are not at all helpful in solving what the real problem is,” Gattine said.
Gattine has been a longstanding critic of many of Le Page’s proposals to reform the state’s welfare system and has blocked efforts by Mary Mayhew, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, to change eligibility requirements for a variety of programs that help individuals and families with developmental disabilities.
Gattine is running for re-election in House District 34, which includes the city of Westbrook. Gattine said Thursday that he never called Le Page a racist.
I would point it right between his eyes, because he is a snot-nosed little runt and he has not done a damn thing since he’s been in this Legislature to help move the state forward.” Gattine is the House chair of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, which has opposed some of Le Page’s welfare, drug enforcement and other reforms.