October 13th, 2010
08:15 AM ET
8 years ago

New York gubernatorial candidate apologizes over gay remark

(CNN) - New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino apologized for comments "that may have offended the gay and lesbian community" after his remarks to an Orthodox Jewish group drew fire earlier this week.

The Republican candidate said he doesn't want children "to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid or successful option [compared with heterosexuality]. ... it isn't."

Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney general and Paladino's Democratic opponent, criticized the remarks Sunday, as did advocate groups for gays and lesbians.

In a letter Tuesday, Paladino acknowledged that he made "mistakes" when he told Jewish leaders that children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking that homosexuality is an acceptable option.

"I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the gay and lesbian community or their family members," he said in the letter. "Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong."

Paladino said if he is elected governor, he will fight for the rights of all New Yorkers.

Paladino also criticized Cuomo for marching in New York's gay pride parade in June.

Cuomo called Paladino's comments cynical and divisive.

Filed under: 2010 • Andrew Cuomo • Carl Paladino • New York
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. jim atmadison

    Any apology that includes the words "may have offended" isn't an apology.

    The offensiveness of the remark isn't dependent on the sensitivity of the people being slurred.

    Paladino either recognizes that his remarks either were offensive, or he doesn't. Obviously, he doesn't.

    October 13, 2010 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. Tom N

    I dropped out of the Republican party and only identify as a fiscal conservative due to narrow minded jerks like Paladino who equate being gay with choosing what kind of pants to where. Can't believe I will be voting for a Cuomo....

    Go back to Buffalo Paladino and I hope the waiters at the Restaurants you are fabled to love leave a little something something in your food...

    October 13, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  3. Dave

    Fortunately, we now know his holding company has had two buildings with gay clubs in them and that his 23 year old nephew – smart guy – hasn't been seen at Paladino's campaign headquarters since the incident. At least the younger generation appears to get it, even if this dinosaur doesn't.

    October 13, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. HJA

    He said what he meant. His apology is a lie. This man is full of hate and arrogance.

    October 13, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. americanpapaagainstobozo

    Man enough to apologize, now let's see if our corrupt, inept, incompetent, lying, union toady president or his slieazy advisor Axelrod will apologize over the lying and sleazy comments they made about the Chamber of Commerce or Karl Roves organization. But I would bet they don't have enough morals or character to do it. No liberal will ever apologize for anything wrong they say or do, they will say that the racist bigots made them do it.

    October 13, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  6. Tam

    Too little, too late. A nut case.

    October 13, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Terry from West Texas

    Paladino's apology was an insincere gesture which sought only to put the issue behind him. He wants to talk about how the socialist-communist-liberals are stealing our children's birthright and the immorality of his opponents. He does not want to talk about his own immorality, insensitivity, and intolerance. Fortunately, I have a Conservative-to-English dictionary and I have translated his comments for English speakers.

    [Translated from Conservospeak:] "Hey, I was talking to a gay-hating audience of Jewish fundamentalists. I was just pandering to their existing prejudices, trying to get votes. Conservatives do that all the time. I never expected my comments to be widely reported. So OK, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Is that good enough for you homophilic, liberal creeps? Will you get off my back? Jesus Christ you people are a bunch of sickos but I need your votes so I'm going to pretend for ten seconds that I did something wrong – but I didn't! It's all YOU people who are the creeps, not me. Screw you! And shut the hell up!"

    October 13, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. PaulC

    Mr. Paladino is a student of the Lady GaGa, Palin, Limbaugh, and Beck school of entertainment. Outrageous is good and there is no such thing as bad publicity. They will do or say anything that the voices in their head tells them. If the media would stop putting them on the front page they would go away.

    October 13, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  9. ATL Guy

    This guy is representative of today's Republican Party. Rude, inconsiderate, lacking ideas and incompetent. If people vote these fools into office, then we deserve what we get.

    October 13, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  10. Marie MD

    This guy has two families (by law and without the benefit of marriage) and he has the nerve to call out gay and lesbians?
    Then he continues to put foot in mouth with "Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong."????? This man seems to be obsessed with gays and their parades. We all know what that probably means as we have seen with other rethugs and pastors and reverends.
    Is there anyone he hasn't gone after and offended? He sounds like the half term governor and her friend who "chose to be gay".
    These teabaggers are all a bunch of imbeciles!!! I don't see what's her face coming to the rescue. Guess she knows he won't win and can't help her in the future. Todd must be furious 🙂 🙂

    October 13, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    You can't unyell "fire' in the theatre. What a mean, hatefull old man, that by his own admission attends gay pride parades and rallys. Next we'll hear about him being arrested at an airport restroom, or highway rest stop.

    October 13, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. anagram_kid

    Too little, too late in my book. Remember, he is the one who brought the subject up in the first place. It is interesting how the right will so frequently say their issue with President Obama and Democrats is the economy, yet they continue to bring up social issues. The want smaller government, but insist on having the government involved in making decisions concerning our private lives. Tell me, how will this intrusion create jobs?

    October 13, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. Jacob

    I guess that's what happens when you read written statements provided by the group you're appearing before. Too little too late, this is just another in a string of homophobic statements from the neanderthal Palladino.

    October 13, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. RobRoy

    Holy Cow the republicant's really have a ZOO to elect from. From Nazis to Gay bashers to Witches and just plain stupids like Palin. Wow I would not want to be associated with this bunch of Nit-Wits in no way shape or form.

    October 13, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  15. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    May have offended?

    What bizarro world do these politicians live on? It's not our world. It's very obvious he offended a lot of people.

    October 13, 2010 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. Ed L

    Paladino is a Fascist Thug... no apology accepted from this smarm.

    October 13, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  17. yogibearman

    Train wreck! ...nuff said

    October 13, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  18. SSS

    LOL, we know what he really thinks, I'm not gay, nor do I understand it, but if I were running for office I would never be that dumb.....to say some of the things he said...

    October 13, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. Seattle Sue

    It will be a sad day in American history, if this man is elected. Paladino seems more of a gangster than a politician.

    October 13, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  20. Patriot

    I am proud of my roots in Western New York. Paladino is disgrace and does not represent the best of that part of the State.

    October 13, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  21. Satsuma girl

    This man's behavior is that of a thug's. He has no business in government. He advocates discrimination and is a poor role model for our youth. Not only is he a bigot, he's a bully, too. Those are two things I don't want my children to have to contend with at school, and I don't want them to think those traits are acceptable in a governmental official.

    October 13, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  22. Mark in St. Louis

    How kind of him to come out and apologize for his remarks AFTER he spent three days DEFENDING them. Its only after these Tea Partiers are faced with the fact that their victories in the PRIMARIES do not mean victories in the GENERAL ELECTION that they begin to moderate their tone. For a group of people who claim to be so different from the establishment politicians, they sure do know how to lie like them!

    October 13, 2010 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. stufthis

    What a slime bucket Carl is. Paladino should adopt Alaska Joe Miller's position when it comes to the media. 'Don't ask, 'cause I won't tell.'

    October 13, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  24. stufit

    One of the great things about being a Democrat liberal is you never have to apologize for anything. You just blame it on someone else and call whoever said it a racist, bigot or homphobe along with some other demeaning, degrading name. The Democrat liberal life, no morals, ne repsonsibilities, except to do what the union bosses tell you.

    October 13, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  25. stufthis

    It is hard to believe he is a billionaire, as he lacks common sense.

    October 13, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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