In 2016, future Republican New York House candidate Carl Paladino wanted everyone to know that he wasn’t racist and that he also believes Black Americans are lemmings for the Democratic Party who don’t know what’s good for them.
CNN unearthed a December 2016 interview on local Buffalo radio station WBEN in which Paladino – who was serving as a Buffalo school board member at the time and fending off accusations of racism that came out of nowhere – said that “I don’t think of myself in any way as a racist.”
Approximately two seconds later, he complained that he couldn’t “get the Black leadership to adopt policies that would help” students because the leadership couldn’t grasp the “basic logic” of his proposals.
Paladino, who was a co-chair of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, predicted that “somebody like” Trump would “force that stuff on them.”
“And maybe then we’ll get some change, because the Black people deserve better. They shouldn’t be held captive in our inner cities. They shouldn’t be held hungry and dumb so as to provide a base for the Democratic Party,” he said. “That’s what’s been going on. You can’t teach them differently because they’ve been so conditioned to think that way.”
Paladino did not apologize for the remarks on Friday. Instead, the House candidate accused CNN of “taking my comments out of context from years ago.”
“Democrats [sic] policies have failed Black voters and taken them for granted which is why Republicans have a historic opportunity to win huge this November,” he said. “I am proud of the work I did for Buffalo Schools, turning around an underperforming district, and investing resources in predominately African American areas.”
Paladino is running to replace outgoing Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) in the upcoming New York primaries with the endorsement of House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
However, Paladino’s campaign has been haunted by past comments that have resurfaced in recent weeks, which include a shout-out to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and conspiracy theories about the Uvalde and Buffalo mass shootings.
The candidate defended himself last week by claiming that he was merely repeating what other people were saying without thinking too hard about what he was repeating.