Maine Gov. Paul LePage has made amends with the 17-year-old boy whose cartoonist father he said jokingly he would like to shoot.
LePage sent Nick Danby, son of a well-known Maine cartoonist George Danby, a personally-penned apology note addressing the comments, a governor spokesman confirmed to the Maine Sun Journal. LePage's office did not provide the governor's letter to Danby, but offered the Sun Journal a copy of the letter Danby wrote in response.
"Thank you for the warm and thoughtful note — I appreciate your concern and frankness," Danby wrote. "I wanted to respond by telling you that I was not offended — I thought they were quite humorous — nor was I the one who reported the incident — I think in many respects you were simply representing the feelings of many Mainers."
The controversy began in late June, at a high school mock Legislature competition when the younger Danby asked LePage what he thought of the cartoonist, who is often critical of the governor in his cartoons. LePage shot back, "I'd like to shoot George Danby."
The response appeared to be a joke that fell flat, but coming a few months after the mass shooting at a satirical magazine in Paris, it drew wide scrutiny. The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists called the remark "vicious, stupid and irresponsible" and the news director of the Bangor Daily News, which publishes Danby's cartoons, said the comment was "shocking and tasteless."