New York Republican party in turmoil over candidate who praised Hitler

Candidate has a record of bombastic and racist comments, such as comparing Michelle Obama to an “ape.”

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

The Republican Party in New York is in turmoil ahead of this November’s mid-term election for the state’s 27th district, with party leaders backing rival candidates — among them an individual who praised the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Last month, Chris Jacobs, the congressional representative for the district, which includes the suburbs around Buffalo, resigned from the U.S. Congress following the racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in the city. That decision has been followed by a standoff between New York Republican Party chairman Nick Langworthy, who is pushing his own candidacy, and Rep. Elise Stefanik, the number three Republican in the House of Representatives, who is backing Carl Paladino, a real estate mogul and right-wing activist.

Earlier this month, media watchdog Media Matters unearthed audio of a 2021 radio interview Paladino gave in which he expressed his admiration for Hitler.

“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,” Paladino asserted. The businessman has a record of bombastic and racist comments, including one remark in which he compared former First Lady Michele Obama to an “ape.”

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On Friday, Paladino apologized for his comments about the Nazi leader. “I understand that invoking Hitler in any context is a serious mistake and rightfully upsets people. I strongly condemn the murderous atrocities committed against the Jewish people by Hitler and the Nazis,” Paladino said, at the same time accusing the media of reaching a “new low” for flagging his comments.

Stefanik pledged support for Paladino in a tweet that called him a “friend” and described him as a “job creator and conservative outsider who will be a tireless fighter for the people of New York.”

Stefanik’s office on Friday declined to directly answer questions from New York media outlets over whether she still supported Paladino.

“Congresswoman Stefanik has one of the strongest records in the U.S. Congress condemning antisemitism and led and passed bipartisan legislation to expand Holocaust education,” a spokeswoman said.