Republican Candidate for Governor Carl Paladino had hoped to appear on NY1 in a debate Monday with opponent Rick Lazio, but instead sat down for a long interview in which he sounded off on Albany politics. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report.
It was supposed to be a debate between Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino, the two men battling to become the Republican Nominee for Governor. But after Lazio turned down NY1's debate request, Paladino had the stage all to himself, and he had one question for his opponent.
"Why do you refuse to answer the people about spending and taxes?" asked Paladino.
The outspoken, and oftentimes politically incorrect gubernatorial candidate continued to attack Albany leadership, mainly Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Paladino didn't back away from any of his previous comments or those of his supporters who have compared Silver to Hitler.
"I have nothing nice to say about him. And I realize I won't work with him and that his caucus is going to have to come up with different leadership if they want to work with the governor's office," Paladino said.
Paladino has also been a strong opponent of the mosque planned near the World Trade Center site, but admitted he has never been in one.
In the lightning round with "yes" or "no" answers, the small government advocate said he would have accepted federal stimulus money if he had been governor. He also said former president Bill Clinton should not have been impeached.
The upstate businessman also had some kind things to say about another Democrat, Senator Charles Schumer, whom he once praised for bringing more airlines to Buffalo's airport.
"Mr. Schumer did the right thing. Somewhere along the line, though, later on, his ego got a hold of him. And Nancy Pelosi and Reid they led him down the wrong path and he voted for Obamacare," Paladino said.
Although Paladino is no fan of healthcare reform, he does have a soft spot for smokers who have to shell out more than $10 a pack.
"An elderly person who has the habit, a disabled person or whatever, a person who is unable to kick the habit has to go out and pay these ridiculous taxes imposed by the state of New York," he said.
Paladino's campaign isn't all about anger. There's also sadness. He says the death of his son in a car crash last year pushed him to run for office.