Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party, at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 31, 2015.
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Christie stands by backer LePage after “white girls” comment

Updated

Chris Christie is standing by Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Christie supporter who recently apologized for making racially charged remarks about drug dealers impregnating white women.

Christie told MSNBC that LePage “we can’t judge people by one set of remarks they make.”

“He’s apologized,” Christie told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in an interview set to air Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Christie acknowledged that the remarks were offensive, but that he genuinely apologized.

“It doesn’t change a bit for me my affection for him, my respect for him, as a leader and as a person, and he’s a good man. And he’s apologized,” Christie said.

Christie’s made fighting drug addiction a signature issue, and he and LePage recently campaigned together in New Hampshire.

On Saturday, Christie acknowledged that LePage is an “outspoken guy” who sometimes makes controversial statements.

“We all know that he shoots from the hip, and when he does that there are going to be times when even he, in retrospect, thinks he shouldn’t have said,” Christie said.

“Every one of us, me, and everybody else who’s in public life says things at times they wish they could take back,” Christie added.

But LePage hasn’t exactly taken it back. While he has apologized for saying out-of-state drug dealers with names like “D-Money” come to Maine and “half the time they impregnate a young white girl,” he said the comments represented “one slip-up.”

“I was going impromptu and my brain didn’t catch up to my mouth,” LePage said. “Instead of Maine women I said white women. … If you go to Maine, you can see it’s 95 percent white.”

LePage’s problem started Wednesday night when he discussed New England’s heroin epidemic and the out-of-state drug dealers contributing to the problem.

“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 a large crowd made up mostly of supporters.

Then LePage added: “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.”

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Chris Christie

Christie stands by backer LePage after "white girls" comment

Updated