Developer Carl Paladino (R) “told a gathering” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn 10/10 that “children should not by ‘brainwashed’ into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized” AG Andrew Cuomo (D) “for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year.”
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Paladino, “addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders”: “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.”
More Paladino: “I didn’t march in the gay parade this year — the gay pride parade this year. My opponent did, and that’s not the example we should be showing our children” (Harris, New York Times, 10/11).
In Paladino’s “prepared remarks — which were handed out to reporters by one of Paladino’s host rabbis at the K’hal Adam Kasho synogague in Williamsburg — but not said by Paladino was the line: ‘There is nothing to be proud of in being a dysfunctional homosexual. That’s not how G-d created us.’”
Paladino mgr Michael Caputo, when “asked why that line was striken while Paladino delivered the rest of the prepared text verbatim”: “Different leaders of the Orthodox community advised Carl on the first draft of the speech. The speech that Carl read was his own” (Epstein, “Spin Cycle”, Newsday, 10/10).
Cuomo’s camp, in a statement: “Mr. Paladino’s statement displays a stunning homophobia and a glaring disregard for basic equality,. These comments along with other views he has espoused make it clear that he is way out of the mainstream and is unfit to represent New York” (release, 10/10).
Caputo “noted” that Paladino “employed a gay man on his campaign staff.” Caputo: “Carl Paladino is simply expressing the views that he holds in his heart as a Catholic. Carl Paladino is not homophobic, and neither is the Catholic Church. The majority of New Yorkers agree with him.” He “said the campaign had done its own polling.”
Paladino: “Don’t misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie.”
Caputo “suggested” that 8/20 “a Cuomo staff member had referred to two gay male aides” to Paladino “as ‘girls.’ The aides were accompanying a Paladino volunteer dressed in a duck costume, and blowing duck calls, to call attention to what the Paladino campaign said” was Cuomo’s “habit of ducking issues.”
Caputo said “the aides were approached by the Cuomo staff member and told: ‘If you girls don’t get out of here I’m going to shove those duck calls down your throats.’”
Cuomo’s camp “did not respond” 10/10 (New York Times, 10/11).
Go Ahead, Tell The World
Paladino made the full Ginsburg this a.m., appearing on all three morning network shows.
Paladino, on if he is calling the kettle black: “No I don’t think so. And I know what you’re referring to and I did apologize for that omission in my life and recklessness. I want to clearly define myself. I have no reservations about gay people at all. None. Except for one thing, their desire to get married. I just feel, I’m a Catholic, … I feel that marriage is only between a man and a woman. … I have people working for me that are gay. Never had a problem with them.”
Paladino, on if people are gay by birth: “I think its a matter of birth. I feel like they are born that way. And that’s just fine.”
Paladino, if he added fuel to the fire of hate: “It wasn’t my intention.”
Paladino, on the New York Post: “I think they owe me an apology at some point. They have chased me down for every darn thing” (“Early Show,” CBS, 10/11).
Paladino, on if he will allow openly gay people to serve in his administration: “Absolutely. Wherever their expertise might be, we’ll put them in our government.”
Paladino: “The discrimination against homosexuals is horrible, it’s terrible.”
Paladino: “Young children should not be exposed to that at a young age, they don’t understand it. It’s a very difficult thing and exposing them to homosexuality, especially at a gay pride parade and I don’t know if you have ever been to one, but they wear these little Speedos and they grind against each other and it’s just a terrible thing.”
Paladino: “When I talk about issues such as this, I talk from my heart. And I expect the press to properly interpret my remarks.”
Paladino, on the speech that was written for him: “I’m not quite sure where it came from. I don’t know the people who wrote that. But I crossed it out in the car. I did not say it and to repeat it, is wrong.”
Paladino: “No, I don’t regret the remark, the remarks that I made believe in. The remark that was deleted is nobody’s business, it was put in there by somebody and I’m not responsible for that, I’m only responsible for what I say.”
Paladino: “Andrew Cuomo took his daughters to a gay pride parade, is that normal? Would you do it? Would you take your children to a gay pride parade? … I don’t think you should go and watch grown men grind against each other, I think it’s disgusting” (“Today,” NBC, 10/11).
Paladino, on if homosexuality is a choice: “I’ve had difficulty with that. … And I believe it’s a very, very difficult life for a young person. I believe that young people should not necessarily be exposed to that. Without some really, really mature background, first, before — so they can learn to deal with it. It’s a very difficult thing. And I sensitize with it totally.”
Paladino: “My problem with that, the press does not hold Cuomo to the same standards that they hold at me. Everything he says, they come and shoot at me from every possible angle” (“GMA,” ABC, 10/11).
Paladino went on FNC’s “Fox & Friends,” 10/11.
Paladino, on why he made his comments about gay people: “Andrew Cuomo had come out with a statement saying that in his first year gay marriage would be passed and he would sign the bill. We wanted to clearly define our position on gay marriage. I have unequivocally had no reservations whatsoever about homosexuality. I know the difficulties that homosexuals suffer. I have a nephew and I have employees who work for me who are of that persuasion and we have never had a problem and i say that very clearly, unequivocally. None.”
Paladino, on his understanding of gay pride parades: “I made a further comment that was based upon andrew’s statement that last year he took his children, young teenagers, to a gay pride parade. Now, I stumbled on one in Toronto one time with my wife. We watched this. There were men in Speedos grinding and doing things, okay, to each other, on this tract trailer. I just said, that’s not right. What’s wrong with him, taking young children? We wanted to make a clear statement. Schools have no business teaching children about moral questions. That’s reserved to the parents.”
Paladino, on who is at fault for his prepared statements saying gays were ‘dysfunctional’: “Well, I don’t know who wrote the thing. But somebody did. In the car before I arrived, I scratched out that section. I said, this isn’t me. And I scratched it out and I did not repeat it. I didn’t say it. I certainly don’t feel that way. And then that’s what led this whole issue up. Andrew went and took a clean copy of that and went and sent it out to the press.”
Paladino, on if he thinks his op research is actually good for the campaign: “I don’t. I’m out there — I don’t think it would be effective right now. I think right now, okay, people want to hear about the message. Andrew keeps shoving this gutter stuff out there and I have to respond to it. But my message is very, very clear. It’s very simple and it deals with the entire spectrum of our society in New York state. Cut the taxes, cut the spending, jobs, and enough of the government corruption and get our medicaid straightened out” (FNC, 10/11).
Paladino also appeared on the “Imus In The Morning” show this a.m.
Paladino, on gay marriage: “I do not support gay marriage. … I’m a Catholic and there are 7,500,000 Catholics in New York. My feelings on homosexuality are the same as the Catholic church. I have no problem with homosexuality, none at all, but marriage is a sacred thing.”
Paladino, on Cuomo taking his daughters to a gay pride parade: “I don’t think I would be proud to take my child to a gay pride parade where you have these men in Speedos and otherwise naked, grinding against each other up on the back of a truck. I think it’s disgusting. It’s like taking your daughter to a strip show.”
Paladino, on whether his religion will influence the way he governs: “No, I will govern, I will uphold all the laws of the state of New York, no matter what they are, even if they disagree with my personal feelings, I will uphold those laws. I may advocate against them, but I certainly will uphold the laws.”
Paladino, on whether he would support a gay marriage act if it passed in the state legislature: “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.”
Paladino, on the incident at Rutgers Univ.: “I see the discrimination, I have a nephew and other people working in my organization who are gay. I see the difficulties that they suffer every day. … Talking about these issues is important. I think that people want to know where you stand on these issues. I will protect everybody in the state of New York. I will advance the interests of everybody in the state of New York and I’ve assured everyone of that.”
Paladino, on Cuomo: “Now he wants to call me a homophobic. Andrew’s got to get a life. He has to get out there and try to find something constructive to do for the rest of his life because he’s certainly not going to be the Governor of the state of New York. People aren’t going to tolerate the gutter muck he throws at me. Then he points the finger at me, for defending myself, that I shouldn’t be reacting to it” (FBN, 10/11).
Paladino’s “online fundraising site” reported that the “‘moneybomb’” he “tried to conduct recently” raised “just” $72K “as of” 10/8 PM. Paladino’s Facebook page “reached” $100K “just 20 minutes before midnight.” Caputo “acknowledged Paladino has had trouble drumming up cash” (Amon, “Spin Cycle”, Newsday, 10/8).
Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, Wisconsin sealed the deal, and he will pick Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio as his running mate.
Write it down. And harangue me mercilessly this summer if I am wrong.
Column writing, I have learned, is part provocation and part explanation.
There is nothing provocative about declaring that Portman will be Romney’s running mate, except that it hasn’t happened and I don’t know it an as absolute fact.
But everything tells me it will be so.
I’m not suggesting Portman, nor am I advocating for him. I don’t know if he will be a good pick or a bad pick. What Romney and Portman make of the ticket is between them and the voters.
Here’s why I think it will happen:
1. Romney likes and respects Portman. They have genuine rapport. This does not come easily to Romney and it matters a great deal. Romney must trust his running mate and feel as if that “portfolio” is in safe and reliable hands. Everything I’ve learned about Romney’s temperament tells me he won’t risk his own sense of balance and confidence — his sense of team dynamics — by choosing a flashy or demographically appropriate running mate he doesn’t trust and believe in.
2. Portman wants the job. He proved it by enthusiastically endorsing Romney and throwing his Ohio organization fully behind him before the crucial March 6 primary. Romney won by 10,288 votes. Some Ohio Republicans believe Portman propelled Romney to victory. This much is certain: He did not fail his political audition. Portman backed Romney, went to work and produced tangible, possibly difference-making results. Ask yourself: Where would the race be now had Rick Santorum won Ohio? Portman doesn’t guarantee Romney Ohio’s 18 electoral votes. But nobody else can guarantee their state, either. Portman performed expertly in the GOP’s 2010 wave election, winning with 57 percent and carrying 82 of 88 counties and 15 of 18 House districts. Lee Fisher, the lieutenant governor who beat Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in that year’s Democratic primary, did not start the race the pushover Portman made him appear.
3. Portman is vetted, more so than any other potential pick. He’s been confirmed not once but twice to cabinet posts — U.S. trade representative in 2005 and Office of Management and Budget director in 2006. The files are ready and, by Washington standards, spotless. Romney knows his pick must get off to a good start and any “surprises” after the rollout will deprive his campaign of precious time, energy, and momentum. Portman is a known commodity among Washington reporters and is regarded as both knowledgeable and accessible (and as a dispenser of well-timed leaks). In the frenzied environment that will accompany the prelude to Romney’s pick, the Portman choice may land with a thud on the charisma meter, but it won’t set in motion a wave of “guess what” stories and will allow Romney to focus on the campaign, not thorny revelations that must be ritualistically turned into an us-against-them media meme. In fact, Portman might actually talk Boston out of its hypertensive and allergic reactions to reporters.
4. Portman is ready for the job and, more importantly, primed for the obligations that will fall upon Romney if he’s elected. In the transition, Romney will need skilled and quicksilver advice and guidance on the magilla lame-duck session that’s coming. In those precious few weeks in November and December the nation will have to decide the fate of the following: the expiring Bush tax cuts, the expiring payroll-tax cut, unfinished spending bills, the expiring Medicare “doc fix” that shielded physicians from a 27 percent premium cut, extended unemployment benefits, the scheduled $1.2 trillion across-the-board discretionary spending cut (sequester), the farm bill, and quite probably, a transportation bill. Oh, and one other thing. A $3 trillion debt-ceiling increase will come up then or right after Inauguration Day. A lame-duck Congress with a president-elect may decide to punt these tough issues to the new administration. If so, no governor or minty-fresh tea party senator will suffice. Portman knows the West Wing like few others (he also served in the White House Counsel’s Office and the Office of Legislative Affairs under President Bush the elder). He knows the House and Senate and served on the super committee. He knows what the numbers are, what they mean, and how the politics of budget, taxation, and trade work. Romney will have to govern and govern quick. The headaches will be immediate and the choices difficult. If governing matters, Portman prevails.
5. Portman is to Romney what Al Gore was to Bill Clinton. He amplifies the central message and the skills set the “alternative” ticket brings. The choice is about President Obama and another term. It’s a firing choice more than a hiring choice. In this context, the alternative needs to be acceptable, not exciting. Portman is not Romney in miniature and Romney isn’t Portman in miniature. But they are both boardroom-ready and politically inclined. They are cool, analytical, data-driven and conversant in the central issue of the day — the economy. This is not ‘92 and Romney won’t have a force carving up the Democratic base like Ross Perot did to Bush the elder. Romney’s not charismatic and never will be. Portman reinforces all that Romney offers or hopes to offer the country. And won’t suffer charisma comparisons to Portman. Don’t kid yourself that this doesn’t matter to Romney.
I’ve interviewed roughly 30 Republicans and Democrats about a Romney-Portman ticket and the downsides and none of the above points are contested. They aren’t even seriously debated.
There are real downsides and risks to a Portman pick expressed by Republicans and Democrats alike, but given different weight and emphasis: Portman’s a bore, and their ticket would be boredom squared, or squares squared; he offers nothing to women voters or Latino voters; he carries the taint of Bush-Cheney policies; and he’s not conservative enough for the tea party. To one degree or another, these are all valid complaints. But Romney has the same perceived “flaws” and he’s going to win the nomination. Portman can’t fix Romney’s flaws. Neither can anyone else. That means all other things being equal, Romney will look for someone he knows and trusts; who has delivered for him; who can put a vital swing state in play; who can immediately help him tackle the hardest issues if he’s elected; and whose selection tells the country Romney’s first big decision as a nominee wasn’t a gasket-blowing gamble or one festooned with the garish and outmoded trappings of regional or ideological balance.
I could be wrong.
But I doubt it.
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