Maine Gov. Paul LePage is under fire for racially charged comments he made at a recent town hall meeting.

At the Jan. 6 meeting in Bridgton, LePage made the comments while talking about the state's efforts to curb the influx of heroin and other drugs from out-of-state dealers.

“These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty … these types of guys … they come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home,” LePage told the crowd. “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road.”

LePage appeared to be referencing in part a recent heroin bust in Bangor in which five people we arrested including 31-year-old Dionhaywood "Smooth" Blackwell of New Haven, Connecticut.

The comments immediately crew fire from LePage opponents. Phil Bartlett, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, telling the Portland Press Herald that the comments “at best were coded racism."

A LePage spokesman said in a written statement that the comments were not about race.

"Race is irrelevant,” the statement said. “What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers. His heart goes out to these kids because he had a difficult childhood, too. We need to stop the drug traffickers from coming into our state.”