Maine Gov. Paul LePage has not ruled out the possibility of resigning in the middle of his current term after leaving a profanity-laced voicemail last week for a state representative accused of calling him racist.
"I'm looking at all options," LePage, a Republican, said Tuesday while speaking with WVOM. "I think some things I've been asked to do are beyond my ability. I'm not going to say that I'm not going to finish it. I'm not saying that I am going to finish it."
He apologized to Rep. Drew Gattine, a Democrat, for leaving an expletive-laden voicemail for the state legislator. LePage claimed Gattine called him racist after the governor said at a town hall Wednesday that photos he's collected in a binder of drug dealers arrested in the state showed that 90 percent of them "are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut; the Bronx; and Brooklyn."
Gattine has denied the allegations, telling CNN: "I'm not a name caller. … Calling somebody a racist is one of the worst things you can ever call somebody. And it's not something that I've ever called anybody."
In a voicemail first obtained by the Portland Press Herald, LePage demanded to speak with Gattine "to prove that I'm racist."
"I've spent my life helping black people and you little (expletive), socialist (expletive)," he said. "I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you."
According to the Press-Herald, LePage left the voicemail after a television reporter "appeared to suggest that (Gattine) was among several people who had called the governor a racist."
LePage told WVOM he was still upset by the purported name calling when he left his message Thursday, likening the term to "calling a black man the 'N' word or a woman the 'C' word. It just absolutely knocked me off my feet."
LePage assumed office in 2011 with the backing of Tea Party activists. He has been a staunch critic of President Barack Obama and has previously come under fire for controversial comments regard race.
He initially endorsed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for president, but in February threw his weight behind Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.