New York Tea Party movement favorite and GOP candidate for Governor Carl Paladino now seems to be someone who’s bringing him to together: it sounds now as if he could lose the gay and the anti-gay vote:
Carl P. Paladino and an Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn has fallen apart, with the rabbi denouncing Mr. Paladino on Wednesday for his apology over remarks he had made about homosexuality on Sunday.
The rabbi, Yehuda Levin, who helped write those remarks, said Mr. Paladino “folded like a cheap camera” because of the uproar they had set off. And the rabbi said he could no longer support Mr. Paladino’s candidacy for governor of New York.
“Which part of the speech that you gave in Brooklyn to the Orthodox Jewish community are you apologizing for?” Rabbi Levin asked at a news conference in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue. “Will we see you next year with your daughter at that gay pride march?”
Mr. Paladino, during a meeting with a small Orthodox congregation that was arranged by Rabbi Levin, said Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and he criticized his Democratic opponent, Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching with his daughters in New York City’s gay pride parade.
But then Paladino issued a series of apologies — and some of them got him into more hotwater (read the EJ Dionne column here on TMV).
Still, if Paladino has become King of the Zingers he has met his match — Rabbi Levin:
Rabbi Levin said that he considered the apology a betrayal, and that he pined for the “old Carl” who spoke from his heart rather than bending to political whims.
Rabbi Levin said he was especially upset that Mr. Paladino gave him no notice that he planned to back away from the comments.
“I was in the middle of eating a kosher pastrami sandwich,” Rabbi Levin said. “While I was eating it, they come running and they say, ‘Paladino became gay!’ I said, ‘What?’ And then they showed me the statement. I almost choked on the kosher salami.”
“He discovered now he has a gay nephew?” the rabbi said. “Mazel tov! We’ll make a coming-out party!”
“Carl, we’ll leave the light on for you,” he said. “Come back, Carl.
The significance is this: Paladino now has zero credibility with gays, those who aren’t gay but don’t hate gays, and those who don’t like gays.
Not really the way to expand your constituency.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.