Paladino wins NY GOP Gubernatorial primary

September 15, 2010 3:20:13 PM PDT
Political novice and tea party ally Carl Paladino stunned the Republican designee in the race for the party's nomination for New York governor.

Paladino rode a wave of voter anger on his way to defeating former Congressman Rick Lazio. It's another blow to the GOP in a heavily Democratic state.


"Obamacare is going to be very destructive to the people and the taxpayers of the state of New York," Carl Paladino said on Wednesday.

By early this morning, Paladino was working the phones, on the radio and celebrating his big win over Rick Lazio, who was the choice of moderate Republican party insiders.

With Paladino, New York Republicans took a hard turn to the right.

"I guess the party took a shellacking in the sense of being a party," he said.

But Paladino, who's also backed by the tea party, has a lot of problems.

  • He defended a friend who compared Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver to the anti-Christ and Hitler.
  • He wants to put those on welfare into prison dorms for classes on better hygiene.
  • He admits to forwarding e-mails with racist jokes and depictions of the president as a pimp.

    "The people are not concerned with emails," he said on Wednesday. "I've apologized to any who that bothers. Okay? And I acknowledge I did send out emails, but the real obscenity is in Albany."

    Paladino rode a wave of populist anger over the mess in Albany.

    He now hopes to topple the Democratic nominee and frontrunner Andrew Cuomo.

    "He can't ignore me. He has to tell the people what he's about," Paladino said.

    Cuomo launched a new commercial. It doesn't mention Paladino, but it does borrow a bit of his populist, outsider message.

    "He'll bring you the experience and independence to the job and make our state government work for the people again," the narrator says.

    Republicans who fought to keep Paladino out tried to kiss and make-up today.

    "We're together here in New York. We were from the start. I was involved in original Tea Party events going back years ago," Ed Cox, the New York Republican Chairman, said.

    If elected, Paladino has suggested the state use its right of eminent domain to force the mosque and community center near ground zero to move.

    That might win him some votes, but many others accused him of being a bigot and a racist.

    "I'm not racist, that's what's nice about America. You're free to say whatever you want to say. Alright? To accuse me of that is nonsensical," he said.