Maine Gov. Paul LePage says U.S. Rep. John Lewis needs a history lesson and should be grateful for all that presidents have done for black people.
The Republican governor on Tuesday addressed Lewis' criticism that GOP President-elect Donald Trump is not a "legitimate president." LePage, who is white, said on WVOM-FM that the black Democratic Georgia congressman needs a lesson on how presidents freed the slaves and fought against Jim Crow laws.
LePage says, "A simple thank you should suffice."
Lewis was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. He suffered a fractured skull while leading the march in Selma, Alabama.
LePage also had harsh words for a Maine congresswoman who, like Lewis, is skipping the inauguration. He says Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree should resign if she doesn't attend.
Phil Bartlett, the head of Maine's Democratic party, said LePage's comments show "a profound misunderstanding of history."
"Gov. LePage should be calling upon President-elect Trump to engage with leaders like Chellie Pingree and John Lewis rather than ratcheting up the rhetoric against those willing to stand up for their beliefs," he said in a statement.