Meet Carl Pasquale Paladino, 76, an American businessman and political activist, chairman of Ellicott Development Co., a real estate development company he founded in 1973. He ran for governor in 2010 and was defeated 63%-33% by Andrew Cuomo, however, he had a very strong showing in western New York State, winning all eight counties in the Buffalo media market. So that when he decided to run for Congress to represent New York’s 27th congressional district, he was considered practically a shoo-in.
Indeed, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the third-ranked Republican in the House and chair of the House Republican Conference, gave Paladino her hearty endorsement, saying he was “a friend” and a “conservative outsider who will be a tireless fighter.”
But then, on Thursday, Media Matters published a radio interview from a year ago, in which the candidate said, I kid you not, how impressed he was by how German Chancellor Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) “aroused the crowd” with his speeches and then added, again, I am not kidding you, that Republicans in New York and DC should learn from the late Fuhrer.
Appearing on the February 13, 2021, edition of the weekly r-House Radio Show on WBEN in Buffalo, hosted by real estate executive Peter Hunt, GOP candidate Paladino opined about you know who: “He would get up there screaming these epithets and these people were just, they were hypnotized by him. I guess, I guess that’s the kind of leader we need today. We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer. … Our Republicans are sound asleep.”
Rep. Stefanik was contacted by Huffington Post over Paladino’s statement that Hitler is “the kind of leader we need today,” and reacted: “I condemn any statement, but don’t take it out of context,” suggesting, “That is not accurate reporting.”
Let’s check the context then, shall we?
According to the recording provided by Media Matters––which, admittedly, is well to the left of the GOP, but a gotcha’ is a gotcha’ no matter what your politics are––the radio show host Hunt asked Paladino: “We’ve been talking a lot about politics here today, this morning, Carl. And I know that that’s obviously near and dear to your heart. And you’ve taken, you’ve taken real action. And a lot — like you were saying earlier, many people don’t voice their opinion or just become, see it as utter futility. How do you rouse the population? How do you get people thinking about the possibility of change here in New York state and what that might mean for our, for everyone here?”
And Paladino just went straight to Hitler, saying: “I was thinking the other day about somebody had mentioned on the radio Adolf Hitler and how he aroused the crowds. And he would get up there screaming these epithets and these people were just — they were hypnotized by him. That’s, I guess, I guess that’s the kind of leader we need today. We need somebody inspirational. We need somebody that is a doer, has been there and done it so that it’s not a strange new world to him. I look around at the politicians that we’ve elected locally and I, I just can’t [unintelligible] on a federal level, I can’t get comfortable with the RINO-ism. And on a state level, we — our Republicans are sound asleep. They’re not an anti-government group. They don’t get up with new press releases to comment on this issue, comment on that issue. I mean, there should be a debate going on in the newspaper every day.”
I dug around for a recording of the exchange regarding AH – so you won’t have to – and here it is:
Paladino sent out an email admitting his Hitler riff had been a “serious mistake and rightfully upsets people,” but, of course, it was mostly the media’s fault: “Any implication that I support Hitler or any of the sick and disgusting actions of the Nazi regime is a new low for the media,” he wrote.