October 11th, 2010
06:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Preston on Politics: Paladino takes GOP off course

Washington (CNN) - Bad timing: Carl Paladino's critical comments about gays couldn't have come at a worse time for him and other Republicans. Paladino is down double-digits to his Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo in the New York governor's race, but beyond his own race why is this important? With 22 days to go until Election Day, GOP candidates in the Empire State and across the country would prefer to be talking about other things such as their plan to revive the economy – not Paladino's remarks.

"It is not good for the cause," said a senior Republican Party strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There are Republican candidates running for other offices in that state who are not going to want to have to answer questions about Carl Paladino instead of going on the offense about jobs and the economy."

Paladino spent the day trying to clarify the incendiary comments, but the story is not going away anytime soon. The New York tabloids – the Daily News and New York Post - as well as his hometown newspaper the Buffalo News have the story prominently displayed on their respective Web sites.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released in August shows that the nation is split on the issue of whether gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marriage: 49 percent say yes while 51 percent say no.

Not great news for GOP, but worse for Democrats. Election Day is closing fast and a new CNN Opinion Research Corp. poll, released a few hours ago, shows that only 31 percent of Americans approve of how Republicans are handling their jobs, 3 points less than how they think Democrats are performing. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3 points - meaning that the two parties are statistically tied on this question.

So, why is this important and are Democrats on firmer footing heading into the midterm elections? Not necessarily. Democrats are prepared to suffer big losses on November 2 and their goal is to build a firewall that allows them to hold onto control of the House and the Senate. But Democrats face a tough challenge – take a look at how voters view Republicans and Democrats on the key issues, especially the economy.

Put this on your radar

Monday night
• President Obama is at the Coral Gables, Florida, home of basketball great Alonzo Mourning raising funds for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – helping to raise as much money as possible to help Democrats construct their Election Day firewall.
• Tea Party-backed Republican Rand Paul squares off against Democrat Jack Conway in a Senate debate at Northern Kentucky University.

• President Obama holds a Democratic National Committee town hall meeting at George Washington University, continuing to try to fire up young voters, which Democrats think are key to them holding on to control of Congress. Vice President Biden makes a stop in Iowa for Rep. Leonard Boswell and then jumps over to Illinois for an event for Gov. Pat Quinn. Obama and Biden will be spending more time on the campaign trail in the closing weeks.
• Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown face off in a gubernatorial debate at Dominican University in San Rafael in Northern California. Less than a week after a Brown aide was overheard calling Whitman a "whore," will it be civil?
• Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Richard Blumenthal meet in a debate that will take place in New London. Will former wrestling executive McMahon try to put the sleeper hold on Blumenthal – polling shows she needs to make up ground.

Filed under: 2010 • Preston on Politics
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. The Hype Man

    Ah, these holier-than-thou Republicans. Bashing and thrashing, hoping their own closeted skeletons will stay put till the election is over.

    October 11, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    WRONG! Every Republican I know fits the profile of Paladino. The GOP is just too scared to admit it. The "Base" of the GOP is overwhelmingly comprised of bigots that hate gays with a passion. Jim DeMint is the new leader of the GOP and advocates banning gay teachers or single women. Sorry to break it to you GOP Clones but your party has been officially hi-jacked by nutcases.

    October 11, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom(real one)

    I ask the Republicans, are these candidates the best you can offer America? The Republicans are in deeper trouble than I thought!

    October 11, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Gays, Mexicans, Muslims, next it will be your or I if we're not already being targeted, the Jewish people know this best.

    October 11, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    Paladino's views on gays no more represents a Republican Party stance than John Edward's views on marriage represents a Democratic Party philosophy.

    October 11, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. timz

    Actually the GOP would prefer to talk about anything *but* their plans to revive the economy (at least in any detail) because, to the extent that they have any plan at all, it's already been proven an abject failure. Any detailed discussion of the economy might remind people of how we got into such difficulties in the first place.

    October 11, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  7. JT from MO

    In my view, the government has no business in morality issues; that includes marriage, religion, and reproductive choices. All of those are purely individualistic choices. I do wonder about those people who claim that they're for small government, while they claim government has the right to regulate abortion, trying to impose their religion on others, and trying to say who can or cannot marry; that's government to the extreme. If the Republican party is for small government, I would highly suggest that at least one member of the Republican party say that they support civil rights and civil liberties for all. What Mr. Paladino said was shameful, and he owes not only the GLBT group an apology but also to the entire country.

    October 11, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. Vote Democrats or bend over for the Tea Party.

    Welcome to the "New Republican Tea Party" you get what you vote for. The "New Republican Tea Party" will sink the GOP for years to come. They will be begging for the days of scandel of Jack Abramoff compares to this new breed untested candidates. Paladino endorse porn video with women and horses(sick).

    October 11, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. La Piovra

    Actually, what statements from Paladino, O'Donnell, Bachman, Palin, et al, are doing, is demonstrating that the current Republican party is mean and crazy. The electorate need to understand this. They may actually like mean and crazy, but at least they'll be making an informed choice.

    October 11, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. southern cousin

    Love it, the inept, incompetent, corrupt, union toady is really "slamming" and "blasting" Republicans with stuff that even the New York Times says is not true. Smells like real desperation. The lying of course is not new, but the fact that even the MSM is reporting it as lies is. This is a lame duck president. He might as well resign, before he is impeached.

    October 11, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. Reasonable guy

    Perhaps politically it was the wrong time, but, he is just expressing what most people feel. Most people don't mind having homosexual people around, as long as it is not on the open. We must all be honest about this...if we can. Do people with children really want their kids being taught that marrying and creating a life with someone of their own sex is just as ....viable as with someone of the opposite sex? Do you want to see love scenes on the television – and the love scenes ARE there – with people of the same sex? Do you?
    The world can be a tough place to survive in. Let's NOT confuse the children.

    October 11, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. Veritas

    Why is it that everyone the right has to offer is a first class nutjob? Look at Palin, Angle, O'Donnell, Bachman, DeMint, Boehner, McConnell, and not this imbecile. Is there no one on the right that is at least somewhat close to being sane? This confirms that liberals are much more in touch with reality that conservatives ever thought about being.

    October 11, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    OK, so this gent speaks out with what are apparently all the Republican talking points, in addition to being somewhat beligerent, and the rest of the Republican Party wants to drop him like a hot rock. Gotta love their integrity and loyalty. I have said it before and I say it again, they eat their young.

    October 11, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. Gene

    Good job Paladino!!
    It's about time someone said what mainstream America thinks. If you are gay, that's fine. But, don't try to shove it down the throats of the rest of us...99+% of America... and don't try to brainwash our children who don't understand this.

    October 11, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. JJ

    It's got a name, and it's called the Ralph Nader Effect. Toldya, the teabaggers are going to destroy the GOP. And we don't have a lift a finger, just watch. Paladino is not just off course, he's just wrong for America, period.

    October 11, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. D. Bunker

    Putting aside the fact that our so-called "liberal" media keeps pushing phony landline polls and a false narrative about an "angry electorate" sane and reasonable Americans will direct our anger towards the GOBPbaggers who have no useful ideas to offer except their slavish devotion to the disproven ideas of their Friedman/Rand cult of deregulation, globalism and tax cuts for the ultrawealthy. Sane and rational Americans also know that putting the teatards in power would be like hiring a pedophile to run a preschool, or the captain of the Titanic to run a cruise ship.

    The GOBP is an old and pathetic imitation of an actual party. Their "pledge" to America? "If you liked the ditch we drove America into last time, you'll LOVE the canyon we're aiming for now!"

    October 11, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Scott

    Republicans are currently incapable of responsible governing. If George Bush didn't show Americans this nothing will.

    October 11, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    REALLY??? Who is in the mainstream? O'Donnell, Newt? Sarah Palin,???
    The entire Republican party has been usurped by tin foil hat wearing lunatics.

    October 11, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. The reality is...

    Hooray for Paladino; a man who's more concerned about our children than being politically correct (which is all too often, incorrect).

    October 11, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  20. anthony

    What does "going on the offensive about jobs and the economy" mean?
    Does it mean explaining why their party voted against Democratic legislature limiting jobs from being sent overseas???
    Because they can talk all they want about the jobs Obama isnt creating, but they sure cant answer why they are the reason there are no jobs in the first place...

    I think Paladino knows he has no solutions so he has to resort to the wingnut/extremist tactics of culture war and division.

    No, his comments do not come at a bad time. Matter of fact, its always a good time to hear how their disgusting party really feels.

    October 11, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |