By Denis Slattery | New York Daily News
ALBANY — An upstate New York congressional candidate with a long history of controversial comments is back in hot water after saying Adolf Hitler is “the kind of leader we need today.”
In an audio clip released Thursday by Media Matters for America, a left-leaning watchdog group, Republican Carl Paladino is heard invoking the Nazi leader and praising “how he woke up the crowds.”
“(He) would get up screaming these epithets and these people were just mesmerized by him,” Paladino said during a February 2021 appearance on The r-House Radio Show, which airs on WBEN in Buffalo. “That’s, I guess, I guess that’s the kind of leader we need today.
“We need someone inspiring. We need someone who is a doer, who has been there and done it,” she added.
Paladino, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate, is running for the 23rd congressional district after Rep. Chris Jacobs (RN.Y.) abruptly canceled his re-election bid last week due to backlash related to his support for the Assault weapons ban.
He’s already garnered endorsements from the likes of Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.), the third-ranking Republican in the House, as he is scheduled to face state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy in the August primary.
State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs condemned Paladino’s comments and called on Republicans to reconsider backing the Buffalo developer.
“How has the Republican Party stooped so low to support a man who has gone on record idolizing a monster who senselessly killed millions?” Jacobs said in a statement. “Rep. Elise Stefanik has doubled down on her endorsement of this demagogue, showing just how out of touch Stefanik and Republican leaders are with voters in this state.”
Paladino is no stranger to controversy, having in the past made blatantly racist comments about former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as Asian Americans.
Paladino won the 2010 Republican primary for governor despite being accused of forwarding racist and offensive emails to colleagues in the construction industry.
He lost the general election to former Governor Andrew Cuomo by more than 30 points and went on to serve on the Buffalo Public Schools school board before being ousted in 2017.
Earlier this week, Media Matters revealed that it shared a Facebook post and emailed supporters claiming that the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas were false flag operations aimed at helping Democrats. to “repeal the second amendment and take away the guns.” ”
On Thursday, Paladino said in a statement to the Associated Press that he was wrong to mention Hitler last year and that any suggestion that his comments meant he supported Hitler would be “a new low point for the media.”
“I understand that invoking Hitler in any context is a grave mistake and rightly upsets people,” he said. “I strongly condemn the murderous atrocities committed against the Jewish people by Hitler and the Nazis, including against my own Italian family.”