Maine Gov. Paul LePage is being accused of racial insensitivity over a joke about a Chinese investor's name.
The man's last name is Chiu - pronounced "choo." When LePage mentioned him at a Lewiston business breakfast on Thursday, the Republican governor pronounced it with an emphatic fake sneeze. LePage smiled and many at the luncheon laughed.
Chiu is chairman of a Chinese firm that has been investing in U.S. paper mills. He and the governor have met multiple times, though LePage's office couldn't provide the businessman's first name.
Not everyone was amused by the joke. Cindy Han, a board member of the Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine, told the Portland Press Herald that the episode shows LePage is "tone deaf" on race.