AUGUSTA, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage left an obscene tirade on the voicemail of a Democratic lawmaker who criticized his remark that 90 percent of the drug dealers arrested in the state are black and Hispanic. He also told reporters he wished it were 1825 so he could challenge the lawmaker to a duel and point a gun between his eyes. LePage later said that was a metaphor and he meant no physical harm.

Here’s a look at other controversial remarks made by the two-term governor:


September 2010

As a candidate for governor, LePage told a group of fishermen during a discussion of federal regulations that he wouldn’t be afraid to tell President Barack Obama to “go to hell.” He later said he regretted the words but didn’t back down on criticism of the administration.


January 2011

After the Portland NAACP chapter felt slighted when LePage declined invitations to attend Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, a reporter asked LePage about it. He answered: “Tell them to kiss my butt.” LePage ended up attending a breakfast honoring the slain civil rights leader in Waterville, as he had in the past, and he skipped events in Maine’s largest city.


February 2011

LePage dismissed the dangers of bisphenol-A, a chemical additive used in some plastic bottles, by saying the worst that could happen was “some women may have little beards.” LePage later said he was joking.


December 2011

LePage used a barnyard epithet when he was asked about a meeting he had with three unemployed workers and a lawmaker. When a reporter asked him for his thoughts about the meeting, LePage used the expletive, then repeated it slowly.


April 2012

At a town hall meeting, LePage was asked about state fees. LePage’s response: “The problem is, Middle management of the state is about as corrupt as can be.”


July 2012

In a radio address, LePage assailed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the health care overhaul law, saying Americans had no choice but to buy health insurance or “pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.” He later said he didn’t mean to offend the Jewish community or minimize the Holocaust.


June 2013

Expressing his frustration over the state budget, LePage used a vulgar phrase to describe a Democratic opponent, saying the lawmaker “claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.”


June 2015

LePage joked about shooting a political cartoonist to the cartoonists’ son at a youth leadership program. A newspaper official said it wasn’t funny, especially after the killing of cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo in Paris.


January 2016

LePage said during a town hall meeting that drug dealers with the names “D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” come to Maine from New York City and Connecticut, sell their drugs and then “half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.” LePage later apologized, saying he meant to say “Maine women” instead of white women.

Later that month, LePage said he wanted to use the guillotine to execute drug dealers publicly. The governor’s office said the remark during a radio interview was just a joke to illustrate his support for tougher penalties for drug crimes. In the interview, LePage laughed when he talked about using the guillotine to chop off the heads of drug traffickers.


February 2016

LePage was accused of racial insensitivity over a joke about a Chinese investor’s name. The man’s first name is Chiu — pronounced “choo.” When LePage mentioned him at a business breakfast, he pronounced the man’s name with an emphatic fake sneeze. The governor’s office later said the two have an “excellent relationship.”


April 2016

At the Republican Party convention, LePage said that it’s hard to understand workers from Bulgaria and that workers from India are “the worst ones.” He made his remarks while criticizing a proposal to increase Maine’s minimum wage. He described Indians as “lovely people, but you’ve got to have an interpreter.”