“And the worst ones? They’re from India.”
Paul LePage, the embattled Tea Party governor from Maine who believes that Donald Trump will be “one of the greatest presidents” is once again making headlines again for all the wrong reasons after going on a bizarrely xenophobic rant at his state’s Republican Party Convention this weekend. The tirade ostensibly centered around his opposition to a referendum on the ballot this November to gradually raise the minimum wage statewide to $12 an hour by 2020.
LePage, who said on Friday in response to his State’s catastrophic opiate epidemic that he would rather see an addict dead than given the proven antidote Naloxone when experiencing an overdose, said in Sunday’s remarks that he would be waging a “little war” against the referendum scheduled to be voted on in November’s elections, claiming that restaurant workers in Maine don’t need a raise, and that if the referendum passed his wife would attempt a career in food service.
While those remarks reflected a typical insensitivity displayed by GOP politicians with regards to minimum wage increases, LePage’s remarks disparaging immigrants prompted the most media attention.
“Already in our restaurants in the summer, if you go to the coast, it’s hard to hear what they’re saying. You ever try to say ‘what’s the special today?’ to somebody from Bulgaria? And the worst ones, they’re from India. I mean they’re all lovely people, but it takes some – you’ve got to have an interpreter. Or how many of you have gone and tried to return something from Amazon on a telephone?” said LePage.
LePage has throughout his political career demonstrated a willingness to publicly make remarks disparaging immigrants and people of color. He famously opted not to attend Maine’s NAACP Martin Luther King Day’s events, telling the organization “to kiss my butt” and adding that he has a black son, and therefore cannot possibly be racist.
Earlier this year, he made racially charged remarks regarding the opiate outbreak saying that the drug dealers bringing the outbreak into his state 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,” adding further, “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.”
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