Augusta, Maine — Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett released the following statement in response to Governor Paul LePage’s tirade this morning on WGAN560 radio, in which he echoed President Donald Trump’s absurd charge that “both sides” were at fault in Charlottesville, and called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Mary Mayhew to renounce her former boss’s shameful comments:

“I would have thought that after his litany of racist comments over the years, like calling people of color ‘the enemy’, Governor LePage would have taken some time to reflect on his misguided beliefs and change his perspective. But after hearing his unhinged tirade on the radio, it’s clear that he just wants to double-down on his ill-informed perspective.

“His remarks are not only astounding and disturbing, but they also make plain that he continues to understand little about how dangerous the actions of white supremacists and neo-Nazis are to the people of Maine and just how counter their beliefs run to the American way of life. There are not two sides at fault in the fight against hatred and bigotry. There is only one — and LePage’s refusal to recognize that truth is shameful and embarrassing to our state.

“When the Governor is more upset about my calling him out than he is about white supremacist terrorism, when he says he would instruct Maine law enforcement to hurt Maine people, when he says that removing confederate monuments is like taking down 9/11 memorials — that should tell everyone all they need to know about the character of Paul LePage.

“I call on all Maine Republicans, from Senator Susan Collins to Congressman Bruce Poliquin, to renounce the Governor’s comments. And Maine people especially deserve to know what the Governor’s protege, Mary Mayhew, thinks of her former boss’s comments. Instead of campaigning with the father of Billy Bush and running away from a federal audit showing that 133 Maine people with disabilities died on her watch at DHHS, she should stand up and tell Maine people just what she believes."